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Senators Cruz and Lee Join Fight Against Operation Choke Point

Friday, April 15, 2016

Senators Cruz and Lee Join Fight Against Operation Choke Point

On Wednesday, Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) joined forces to introduce legislation to end the Obama administration’s abuse of its regulatory authorities to deprive firearm and ammunition related businesses of access to financial services.  The bill is the Senate companion to Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer’s (R-Mo.) Financial Institution Customer Protection Act (HR 766), which passed the House with bipartisan support in February.

Like the House bill, the Senate 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 power at the heart of Operation Choke Point (OCP). This
Obama administration “enforcement” program lumped together legal and illegal businesses (including firearm and ammunition sellers) into a “high risk” category and threatened the banks servicing them intense regulatory scrutiny. The goal of OCP was to deter the banks from forming or continuing relationships with the targeted industries, thereby driving them out of business.

Like the House version, the Senate bill would require regulators that suggest or order a bank to terminate a customer’s account to have material reasoning, 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 OCP’s “high risk” target list.

Regulating agencies would also have to submit annual reports to Congress documenting any such requests or orders. Finally, the bill would make important amendments to the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989, which agencies have cited as authorization for OCP, to clarify the law’s scope so as conclusively to preempt this dubious justification.

“Under President Obama’s reign, the DOJ has abandoned its longstanding tradition of staying out of politics and has instead become a partisan arm of the White House,” Sen. Cruz said in introducing the bill. “The Obama administration initiated Operation Choke Point to punish law-abiding small businesses that don’t align with the President’s political leanings. The DOJ should not be abusing its power by trying to bankrupt American citizens for exercising their constitutional rights.”

Sen. Lee commented, “Our right to bear arms – a right granted by God and protected by the Constitution – is fundamental to the protection of all our other rights. An executive branch bent on taking away this right, through any administrative means necessary, is a danger to all Americans.”

NRA applauds Sens. Cruz and Lee for continuing the good work on this effort begun in the House, and we urge the Senate to complete that job and deliver a strong bill to the president’s desk.

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Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Monday, March 20, 2017

Maryland: Pro-Carry Legislation Pending Final Vote on House Floor

Today, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 on second reading.

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Ohio: Critical Self-Defense Law Takes Effect Today!

Today, March 21, the provisions of the critical self-defense legislation, Sub. Senate Bill 199, go into effect.  Thanks to your active involvement last session, this bill was signed by Governor Kasich last December.  This law ...

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Maryland: House Passes Pro-Carry Legislation

Yesterday, the Maryland House of Delegates passed House Bill 1036 by a 97-41 vote.

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Illinois: Gun Seizure Bill Could be Heard by House at Any Time

The Illinois House of Representatives could consider House Bill 2354 at any time.

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Arkansas Action Needed: Anti-Gun Bill Which Undermines Concealed Carry Headed to House

Today, the Arkansas Senate passed Senate Bill 724, an anti-gun bill which undermines some of the key advancements made with the passage and enactment of House Bill 1249.  SB 724 is now headed to the ...

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Idaho: Senate Passes Concealed Carry Amendment

Yesterday, March 20, the Idaho Senate passed House Bill 93 by a 35-0 vote.  Introduced by state Representative Don Cheatham (R-3B) and sponsored on the floor by state Senator Marv Hagedorn (R-14), HB 93 would amend current law ...

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Nevada: Senate Passes Anti-Gun SB 115

Yesterday, March 21, the Senate passed anti-gun Senate Bill 115 with a 12-9 vote.  SB 115 was sent to the Assembly for further consideration.  Sponsored by state Senator Moises Denis (D-2), SB 115 would expand the list ...

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Are Ear Plugs Better Than a Suppressor?

On March 13, the gun control group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, posted a tweet claiming:  “FACT:  Silencers do not protect your hearing.”  An infographic accompanied the tweet with the additional claim “You know what protects ...

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Texas: Two Important Handgun Carry Bills to be Considered in Senate and House Next Week

On Monday, March 27, the Texas Senate will convene after 2:00pm and is expected to take up and consider Senate Bill 16, NRA-backed legislation sponsored by State Sen. Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) and Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Utah: Governor Signs Self-Defense Legislation into Law

Tonight, Governor Gary Herbert signed House Bill 198 into law.

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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.