January 30, 2015
By G&A Online Editors
UPDATE (2/6/2015): Following the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's (FDIC) admission of fault in "Operation Choke Point," which prevented some firearms related businesses from receiving necessary financial services, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) has reintroduced the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act.
The act is designed to prevent practices such as those associated with "Operation Choke Point" and ensure all businesses — including those in the firearms industry — have fair access to financial services as a matter of federal law.
"I am reintroducing the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act because this legislation needs to be codified into law so that other agencies don't ever fall into this illegal and abusive practice. Now that the FDIC has made it clear the agency has been involved in Operation Choke Point, I hope members on both sides of the aisle see the importance of my legislation because all of my colleagues have constituents at home who could be impacted by this program," Luetkemeyer said.
"Operation Choke Point" was an initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in which the provision of financial services was prevented from reaching certain targeted industries. The initiative was highly criticized for allegedly cutting off financial services to some businesses without first showing that the targeted companies had violated the law.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) has been working closely with Rep. Luetkemeyer and his staff.
Original story from 1/30/15 below:
The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) gained major ground in a discrimination case on Wednesday. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) admitted fault in "Operation Choke Point," an ongoing initiative of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) in which the provision of financial services has been prevented from reaching certain targeted industries, including firearms related businesses.
Leadership of the NSSF has been working to stop this type of discrimination, and Wednesday's acknowledgement by the FDIC indicates a step toward that goal. In addition to the agency's admission of wrongdoing, the FDIC also indicated it would cease practices that encouraged such biased treatment going forward.
U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R.-Mo) released a statement after a meeting with FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Vice Chairman Tom Hoenig during which the agency's involvement in "Operation Choke Point" was discussed.
Luetkemeyer had this to say about the FDIC's admission:
"After a year of mounting pressure from Congress and outside organization like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, top officials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation finally acknowledged their involvement and wrongdoing in Operation Choke Point. While I am very pleased the FDIC will put in place new polices and change the culture at the agency, there is still work to be done, specifically with the Department of Justice. I am pleased the National Shooting Sports Foundation supports my legislation, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, and I have no doubt the foundation will remain steadfast in educating its members and continuing the fight in ending Operation Choke Point once and for all."
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