FirstMerit banks respond to complaints about ''No-guns'' signs

The following bulk email is being sent to customers who contacted FirstMerit bank about their recent decision to post signs, and about to five subsequent bank robberies in their Ohio locations.

    From: Karen Rose [mailto:[email protected]]
    Sent: Friday, June 11, 2004
    Subject: Re: Why does FirstMerit discriminate?

    Dear Mr. XXXXXXX,

    Your e-mail in regard to the recent Concealed Carry Weapon Law was forwarded to me as the senior executive in charge of our banking regions. I appreciate you taking the time to communicate to us your position on Ohio's new concealed carry law.

    As you observed, FirstMerit has decided to post signs at each of our locations indicating that concealed weapons may not be carried into our facilities unless specifically authorized by our Security Department. Our definition of a weapon includes, but is not limited to firearms of any kind (e.g., handguns, rifles, shotguns); replica firearms, pellet guns, air rifles/pistols, tasers, stun guns, knives (e.g, switchblades, hunting knives); swords and/or martial arts weapons.

    It is our position that weapons are not necessary in our facilities unless authorized by our Security Department. We neither support, nor reject current weapons laws; rather we remain focused on our mission of providing the highest quality of service to our customers. We do employ numerous security measures, which are in compliance business standard practices.

    We appreciate your business and respect your views.

    Kindest regards,
    Robert P. Brecht
    Senior Executive Vice President

To read a follow-up inquiry from OFCC's Jim Irvine, click on the "Read More..." link below.

Dear Mr. Brecht,

I notice that you are posting "no guns" signs in all your banks. Statistically, that makes your customers less safe.

Please list for me all the instances involving concealed carry license-holders in your Pennsylvania branches that have caused you to ban the presence of license holders in your Ohio banks for "customer safety."

If you have not had any problems in your five Pennsylvania branches, feel free to cite cases from any bank, anywhere in the country, in any of the 46 states that allow concealed carry during any of the past 80 years.

I look forward to learning the reasons you feel the most law-abiding citizens in society are somehow a security risk for your business because they undergo extensive training and background checks and poses the same tools as most security officers.

James M, Irvine
Ohioans for Concealed Carry

Apparently FirstMerit is more comfortable with taking the chance that every criminal who ignores their signs, and foils their supposed security, won't mind leaving witnesses. The question is, will their customers be?

Customer Contact Center - 1-888-554-4362
In the Akron area, please call 330-996-6025.
Email: [email protected].
(If you would like to hear back from a FirstMerit customer representative, please indicate that in your message.)

Related Stories:
FIVE: FirstMerit victim zone robbed again

Ironic timing for FirstMerit bank to begin posting discriminatory signs

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