A recent initiative launched by the top government regulator of financial institutions to restrict access to credit services by businesses like porn shops, payday lenders and so-called “pyramid schemes” has expanded to ensnare gun stores and ammunition sales, Grandviewoutdoors.com has learned.
According to documents and interviews, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Department of Justice have been working through a program dubbed “Operation Choke Point” to squeeze businesses the Obama Administration deems at “high risk” of committing fraud on their customers.
“Operation Choke Point [is] attempting to shut off the financial oxygen of what are called Third Party Payment Processors,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Iain Murray told NRA News. “What they do is remotely create checks to allow you to buy a product online or sometimes over the phone.”
In a document obtained by Grandviewoutdoors.com, the FDIC deems high-risk merchants and activities to include “get rich” products, pay day loans, home-based charities and credit repair services. The goal of Choke Point is to put banks that service these industries under additional scrutiny from federal regulators to make sure they’re not defrauding their customers.
But in a move that has alarmed many firearms retailers, the FDIC document also includes “ammunition sales” and “firearms/fireworks sales” as being potentially subject to Operation Choke Point’s mandates.