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Legislation Introduced to Break Administrative Choke Hold on Firearm and Ammunition Vendors

Friday, February 13, 2015

Legislation Introduced to Break Administrative Choke Hold on Firearm and Ammunition Vendors

In January, we reported on encouraging news that the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) had taken steps to reassure banks that they are not categorically prohibited nor discouraged from servicing customers in the firearms and ammunition industries. Of course, the very fact that this should be considered newsworthy demonstrates just how bad the politically-motivated abuses of federal banking regulators, including but not limited to FDIC and Department of Justice (DOJ), had become. The supposed "enforcement" program at the center of this scandal, Operation Choke Point (OPC), has been the subject of considerable congressional attention. Recently, bills were introduced that seek to put a definitive end to the administration’s squeeze of what it considers "immoral" businesses operating within the law.

On Thursday, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Firearms Manufacturers and Dealers Protection Act of 2015. This bill would completely defund, in perpetuity,“Operation Choke Point or any other program designed to discourage the provision or continuation of credit or the processing of payments by financial institutions for dealers and manufacturers of firearms and ammunition.“ The bill expresses Senator Rubio’s strong conviction that “[w]e must stop this administration’s effort to target private industries and the 2nd Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”

Sen. Rubio’s bill followed Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (R-Mo.) re-introduction on February 5 of the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act. This legislation would institute numerous reforms to bring more transparency and accountability to federal oversight of banks, all aimed at preventing the sort of unchecked abuse of discretion at the heart of OPC.

For example, the bill would require regulators that suggest or order a bank to terminate a customer’s account to put the directive in writing, with reference to any specific laws or regulations the enforcement agency believed were being violated. Moreover, no such reason could be based solely on “reputational risk,” the supposed basis for including firearm and ammunition businesses within the scope of OPC’s “high risk” target list. Regulating agencies would also have to submit annual reports to Congress documenting any such requests or orders. Finally, the Act would make important amendments to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, which agencies have cited as authorization for OPC, to clarify the law’s scope so as conclusively to preempt this dubious justification.

On Thursday, Rep. Luetkemeyer published excerpts of a FDIC whistleblower’s letter, which further substantiate the illegitimate ends of OPC. The individual wrote: “I am an employee of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). I was proud of my job and the FDIC’s mission before Operation Choke Point. During the past two years, however, we have been told to examine banks much more harshly, if they deal with a class of customers prohibited by Choke Point.” Some may have difficulty believing (or accepting) that the corruption inherent in using regulatory authority to attempt to destroy entire lawful industries could exist in the United States government. As unsettling as that idea may be, it cannot be ignored, and Rep. Luetkemeyer has systematically and courageously exposed and opposed it.

The NRA is grateful for the leadership of Sen. Rubio and Rep. Luetkemeyer on this issue, and encourages you to contact your U.S. Senators and Representative to voice support of the legislation to end OPC.

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

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Today, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan signed House Bill 1427 into law.

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Monday, May 22, 2017

Washington: NRA Files Amicus Brief in Challenge to Kitsap County Anti-Gun Ordinance

Last week, attorneys on behalf of the NRA filed an amicus brief in Kitsap County v. Kitsap Rifle and Revolver Club (Kitsap II), the case which challenges Kitsap County’s firearm discharge ban and range licensing scheme.  Kitsap Rifle and ...

Illinois: House Committee Passes Bill to Close Local Gun Dealers

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

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Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

Second Amendment  

Friday, May 19, 2017

Court's Commonsense Conclusion: "There Was a Gun" Isn't Enough to Justify Issuing a Restraining Order

The Supreme Court of North Dakota confirmed this week that simply possessing a handgun while on one’s own private property cannot support a finding of "disorderly conduct" under the state’s disorderly conduct restraining order law. ...

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Nevada: Governor Sandoval Signs AB 118!

Today, May 22, Governor Brian Sandoval signed important pro-gun legislation, Assembly Bill 118, into law.  AB 118, sponsored by Assemblyman Skip Daly, will allow members of the military and those who have received an honorable ...

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

California: AB 424 Passes Assembly - Appropriations Committees to Consider Suspense Items

Friday, May 26th is the deadline for the fiscal committees to pass bills to the floor from the chamber of origin.  On Thursday, May 25, the Senate AppropriationsCommittee is scheduled to consider Senate Bill 464 and Senate Bill 497. ...

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Kansas: Senate Committee Passes Gun Free Zone Legislation, Again

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California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

California: Don’t Miss our May 25th Webinar to Discuss the Newest DOJ Draft “Assault Weapons” Regulations

Tomorrow, Thursday, May 25, at 12:00 pm (PT), NRA’s legal team will be hosting a free webinar to discuss the recently submitted “assault weapon” regulations.   

Alabama: Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Alabama: Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Last Friday, May 19, the Alabama Legislature adjourned sine die.  During this session, Senate Bill 24, the constitutional/permitless carry bill, passed the Senate but failed to make it to the House floor for a vote ...

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Illinois: Last Chance to Save your Local Gun Dealer!

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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.