The Federal government is reportedly cracking down on banks that work with firearms and ammunition companies in an initiative dubbed “Operation Choke Point”.
Operation Choke Point is a joint effort between the Justice Department and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to cut off “high risk” businesses like porn shops, payday lenders and ponzu schemes from access to credit services and third party payment processors.
Grandviewoutdoors.com reports the program has recently expanded to include ammunition and firearms sales. A number of firearms companies have recently reported unusual dealings with their banks, and in some instances, the termination of decades long-business partnerships, leading many in the industry to believe Operation Choke Point is responsible.
The claims of Operation Choke Point’s alleged interference with firearms companies has grabbed the attention of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry’s trade association. On May 28, they released a statement on the matter.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation has been investigating the possible role of the federal government in influencing banks in their lending and business banking relationship decisions regarding companies in our industry. We have heard from several industry members that they had banking relationships terminated by their lending institutions.
We respect the right of financial institutions to make business decisions based on objective criteria. It is unacceptable, however, to discriminate against businesses simply because they are engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms, an activity protected by the Second Amendment.
The NSSF also said they are working with members of Congress to prevent federal funding from going to the operation.
As a result, we have worked with U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) and expect that he will offer today an amendment to the FY15 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill, which would prevent federal funds from being used as part of “Operation Choke Point” or in any effort targeting companies involved in the lawful commerce in firearms.
Wide Open Spaces will continue to follow Operation Choke Point in the coming weeks.
To read more about Operation Choke Point, check out the article by Grand View Outdoors.
What are your thoughts on Operation Choke Point? Share your thoughts in the comments section.