It is working! The ground swell against Barack Obama and Eric Holder’s anti-Second Amendment policies has forced Congress to intervene.
Operation Choke Point is the DOJ’s program of intimidating banks and credit agencies and “compelling” them to drop “high-risk” and “disreputable” merchants. As far as Eric Holder’s DOJ is concerned, a high-risk business would be an escort service, porn website, marijuana dispensary, gambling website… or a gun store (among other things). That’s the company that Barack Obama and Eric Holder lump your Second Amendment rights with!
This has been absolutely crippling to gun stores and the industry in general. Next time you go to a gun show, take notice of how vendors are forced to charge 5-8% more just to process a credit card, and how they can’t itemize the receipt because they will get in trouble from their card processing company. Pay attention to how using cash instead of a card can get you a large discount.
Sure, some of this is to preserve an already small profit margin. But much of it is due to the fact that gun dealers cannot use many of the top credit card processing companies because the DOJ has ordered the banks to deny them! And the credit agencies that will accept the gun dealer’s business charge a much higher processing fee!
This past week, the House of Representatives passed an amendment to a DOJ appropriations bill that would essentially defund Eric Holder’s Operation Choke Point and prevent the Obama Administration from blackmailing banks into dropping their customers just because the White House disagrees with their business model and inventory!
This is a huge first step, but the battle to stop this abusive, anti-gun program is far from over! The Senate could just as easily strip this provision from their bill, which would put us back at square-one. We must keep the pressure on BOTH the House and Senate to put an end to Operation Choke Point and to defund any other anti-Second Amendment programs within the Obama administration!
There is much more at stake than just stopping gun stores from processing credit cards. Banks have been dropping gun stores entirely, making it difficult for them to even pay their employees or keep the lights on.
As I have said before, this all stems from an 2011 FDIC report on "disreputable merchants" that explains that “although many clients of payment processors are reputable merchants, an increasing number are not and should be considered ‘high risk… these disreputable merchants use payment processors to charge consumers for questionable or fraudulent goods and services.”
Since the FDIC labeled gun stores as "high risk" ventures, banks have been wary of taking on new firearm dealers as clients. Any banks that remained loyal to their gun store customers have been targeted by the DOJ with what essentially amounts to blackmail; being threatened with subpoenas, sanctions, and audits if they don't drop gun store accounts.
The House has voted to defund this unconstitutional program. While debating over the Justice Department’s budget for the next fiscal year, this amendment was brought to the floor by Rep. Blane Luetkemeyer (R-MO), who is a member of the House Financial Services Committee and is vice chairman of the House Small Business Committee. Believe it or not, this amendment was also co-sponsored by three democrats (and two more republicans), making it a stunning bipartisan smack down of the Obama administration’s anti-gun stance!
But the bill hasn’t passed the House yet. And when it does, it still needs to pass through the Senate and receive Barry Soetoro’s (aka Barack Obama’s) signature before it becomes the law of the land. We cannot afford to let-up now!
Operation Choke Point was never about stopping crime… it was about targeting an entire industry that the Obama administration philosophically and politically disagrees with! It was about finding new ways to infringe on your Second Amendment rights without having to go through Congress!
If the full weight of the Federal Government can go down on one industry and try to push lawful storefronts out of business, then this can happen to anyone. Yes, this is about STOPPING the federal government from targeting gun stores, but we also must ensure that this type of harassment is not allowed, regardless of the legal industry targeted!
Our Second Amendment rights are precious. But unless you know how to manufacture your own firearms, the exercising of your right to keep and bear arms is dependent on firearm retail stores. That is why the Obama administration is trying to put them out of business and we must push back and stop this illegal and unconstitutional anti-gun program!
Congress moved to defund this abusive program because patriots like you answered the call and overwhelmed them with tens of thousands of faxes demanding that they act! We must all answer the call one more time and ensure that Operation Choke Point is sent to the ash heap of history where it belongs!