Yesterday we revealed that the Justice Dept. is causing banks to fear doing business with legal gun dealers due to Operation Choke Point, a joint program between the DOJ, FDIC and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau targeting “high-risk activities,” of which firearm sales is also listed.
“Federal law enforcers are targeting merchant categories like payday lenders, ammunition and tobacco sales, and telemarketers – but not merely by pursuing those merchants directly,” Jason Oxman, the CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, wrote on the subject. “Rather, Operation Choke Point is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands.”
Oxman explained the superficial logic behind Operation Choke Point: by increasing the legal and compliance costs of serving “disfavored merchant categories,” financial institutions will “simply stop providing service to such merchants.”
“And it’s working – payments companies across the country are cutting off service to categories of merchants that – although providing a legal service – are creating the potential for significant financial and reputational harm as law enforcement publicizes its activities,” he added....