On July 13 Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH-4) questioned Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Chairman Martin Gruenberg and suggested the application of “high risk” categorization to gun sellers screams Operation Choke Point.
In 2015 Breitbart News reported that Operation Choke Point was an operation through which the Department of Justice was using various agencies/services under its power to pressure banks and credit companies to cut ties with “high risk” businesses. Not ironically, gun and ammunition sellers were categorized as “high risk.”
Representative Jordan’s office put it this way in a July 13 press release sent to Breitbart News: “In Operation Choke Point, the U.S. Department of Justice investigated banks that were working with legal businesses that the Obama administration opposed, such as gun dealers and pay-day lenders.”
And it appears that part of the operation consisted in the FDIC listing gun dealers and other legal business with illegal businesses, by “claiming these legal companies were associated with ‘high-risk’ activity.” The result of this was to cause banks to cut ties with gun dealers and related legal businesses that had done nothing wrong.
Jordan cornered the FDIC chairman over the matter on Wednesday, saying:
[The FDIC action] looks exactly like what the Internal Revenue Service did. They said to folks who were applying for a tax exempt status, “Nope, we’re going to harass you, you’ve got to fill out a bunch more [paperwork], we’re going to keep asking you a bunch of questions, we’re not going to approve you.” And they targeted them, just like this list seems to be targeting certain types of businesses that you don’t like, and obviously the Justice Department didn’t like, as evidenced by Operation Choke Point. That’s what it looks like.
On May 18, 2014, The Washington Times listed gun stores and firearms-related businesses in Miami, Florida; Henderson, Nevada; and Phoenix, Arizona, that saw their bank accounts “frozen” or dropped altogether as a result of Operation Choke Point. And in April 2013 Breitbart News reported that Bank of America froze the assets of Scottsdale, Arizona-based American Spirit Arms because the company allowed customers to order guns over the Internet without conducting a background check. What Bank of America missed–via the enhanced scrutiny placed on American Spirit Arms–was that the gun manufacturer fully complied with the law by shipping its guns directly to Federal Firearm License holders, who then conducted background checks before allowing customers to take possession of them.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.