NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

"Operation Choke Point" Raises Alarms

Friday, May 2, 2014

For the last several days, rumors have been circulating about the use of federal financial services regulators to harass and intimidate banks and financial service providers who maintain relationships with legal but so-called "high risk" merchants or businesses.   These businesses are said to include, among others, payday lenders, escort services, producers of pornography, gaming interests, and purveyors of drug paraphernalia.  By leaning on the banks, so the theory goes, the regulators will cause them to sever relationships with these businesses, thereby choking off their cash flow and forcing them out of the market.  While the early phase of the operation has reportedly focused on payday lenders and pornography interests, eventual targets are said to include sellers of firearms and ammunition.

We have been aware of this story for some time.  NRA News, for example, originally reported on it last January.  Breitbart news also noted in January that Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Chairman of the Economic Growth Subcommittee, sent a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder demanding further information on the program.  In a follow up story on NRA News in April, Andrew Langer from the Institute for Liberty reiterated the allegations and reported that the program is expanding.  The House Committee on Financial Services additionally held a hearing on April 8 entitled, "Who's in Your Wallet: Examining How Washington Red Tape Impairs Economic Freedom," at which concerns over Operation Choke Point were expressed by both sides of the aisle. 

In addition to these concerns, NRA is aware of episodes in which banks have severed their relationships with customers in the firearm industry, as well as the policies of various online services – such as Google Shopping, eBay, Craigslist, and PayPal--to refuse to host listings for, or process sales of, firearms or ammunition.

We know as well that various anti-gun groups have taken their cause to the private sector with varying degrees of success.  Indeed, as we have reported, this is a niche that is actively being pursued by Michael Bloomberg's recently-acquired (and ponderously named) anti-gun franchise, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. In March, NRA successfully defeated a Bloomberg-backed effort to remove firearm-related content from Facebook.  Meanwhile, anti-gun mayors have floated plans to use city contracts to impose their gun control wishes, usually with instant pushback from their own police forces. Some public pension plans have also begun divesting themselves of publicly-traded companies related to firearm or ammunition.

Gun control proponents, having achieved only limited success in the legislative arena, have without question sought additional avenues for restrictions through the business community.  While all of these developments deserve close attention, we have not substantiated that they are part of an overarching federal conspiracy to suppress lawful commerce in firearms and ammunition, or that the federal government has an official policy of using financial regulators to drive firearm or ammunition companies out of business. This in no way diminishes, however, the real and continuing threats gun owners face from  politically unaccountable federal bureaucrats – whose actions we have recently reported on here, here, and here – or the need for consumers to be aware that their own behavior and spending habits can influence decisions businesses make about firearms.

Rest assured, NRA will continue to monitor developments concerning Operation Choke Point and report on any significant activity of concern to gun owners.  The Obama administration's record--which includes the Fast & Furious scandal, a federal firearm registration scheme, and a reversal of U.S. policy leading to the signing an international gun control treaty – certainly provides no reason for confidence.  Yet whatever the administration might have in store for the future, the firearm industry for now is experiencing robust sales and growth, a reflection of America's rejection of the gun ban agenda.

TRENDING NOW

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

South Carolina: NRA-Endorsed Self-Defense Legislation Passes Committee

Yesterday,  H. 4703 was favorably reported out of the House Judiciary Committee.  This critical self-defense legislation had no opposition ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Arizona: Pro-Gun Bills Scheduled for Hearings Tomorrow

This week, the Arizona State Legislature has scheduled hearings for several important pro-gun bills.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Anti-Gun lawmakers Introduce Gun Confiscation Bill in Georgia

With a complete disregard for the U.S. Constitution and the fundamental rights of Georgia residents, state Representative Mary ...

Hunting  

Monday, February 1, 2016

West Virginia: Permitless Carry and Sunday Hunting to Be Considered this Week

This week, the House of Delegates is likely to consider House Bill 4145, important legislation that would allow ...

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Oregon: 2016 Legislative Session Convenes; Senate Bill 1551 Pulled from Hearing Agenda

Yesterday, the Oregon State Legislature convened its 2016 legislative session.  As previously reported, both Senate Bill 1551 and ...

News  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Chief Justice Barack Obama?

Here’s perhaps the most compelling argument we’ve heard against Hillary Clinton’s bid for the White House. Continuing her streak ...

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, January 29, 2016

New Jersey Actor Faces Jail Time over Possession of Air Pistol during Movie Shoot

If it seems as though that every couple of months there is another high-profile gun control injustice in ...

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Florida Report: BIG Day for Gun Owners in Florida -- Four Victories

Today, HB-163, Open Carry by Rep. Matt Gaetz was heard in the House Judiciary Committee and PASSED by a Vote of 12-4.  HB-344, Stand Your Ground/Burden of Proof by Sen. Rob Bradley PASSED THE SENATE ...

Monday, February 1, 2016

South Carolina: Important Self-Defense Legislation Needs Your Help!

With the South Carolina Legislature’s 2016 legislative session underway, a number of bills which could affect your Second ...

News  

Thursday, February 4, 2016

National Rifle Association Statement on 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Ruling in Kolbe v. Maryland

Fairfax, Va.— Chris W. Cox, the executive director of the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action, issued the following statement in reaction to today's ruling by the federal 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.