Florida Gun Shops Targeted by Feds

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Steve Champion of Brooksville, Florida is the latest victim of the Justice Department’s most secretive operation. It’s called Operation Choke Point, and it has ensnared hundreds of innocent entrepreneurs in its evil web. Can’t circumvent the Second Amendment through legislation? That’s okay. We’ll target the gun shops themselves, and by the time Americans wake up, it will be too late.

Champion is the owner of American Gun & Pawn. Last month, his bank – SunTrust – informed him that they were no longer interested in doing business with him. With little explanation, they asked Champion to close his accounts by April 20th. Champion was stunned, thinking there must have been a mistake. After contacting a Tampa news station, though, he realized there was no mistake. He had run afoul of the Obama administration.

On the surface, Operation Choke Point is an initiative intended to reduce bank fraud. In practice, however, it has become a way for Obama to put law-abiding firearms dealers out of business. They put these dealers in the “high risk” category, insisting that they are more likely to house illegal activities than the average business.

Because actually forcing banks to sever these accounts would invite too much public backlash, the Justice Department instead threatens them with increased oversight. It becomes easier, therefore, for the banks to drop the accounts and avoid the scrutiny. Unfortunately, this leaves people like Champion twisting in the wind.

“I’ve worked my whole life to open a business,” he said in an interview with WFLA. “I have a near-perfect credit score. There is no reason other than they don’t want to do business with a gun store, period. So they’re discriminating.”

SunTrust claimed that it was the pawn shop side of Champion’s business that forced the closure, not the guns. Of course, this claim is defied by what a customer service rep told Champion when he called about the issue.

“Oh, you got one of the gun letters,” the rep told him.

This administration has mastered the art of destroying freedom while protecting themselves from accusations of lawbreaking. Time and again, Obama has used his constitutional education to devise a devious path around that hallowed document.

Call it the ignorance of the American voter.

Executive orders.

Prosecutorial discretion.

Non-binding treaty.

Every time, he rides right up to a very fine line. And while he has stepped over that line a time or two, he is protected by a media conglomerate that refuses to report on his lawlessness. Instead, they paint every controversial decision he makes as a Republican vs. Democrat political charade, only of interest to bloggers and nerds.

Local news stations – long useful only for weather and feel-bad stories that seem intended to prolong depression – have a new chance to shine. It may be that, along with independent internet news sites, they represent our last hope for true democracy. Hopefully stations like WFLA will continue to point out how Obama’s tyranny hurts citizens in every American city. He rode into office on a wave of grassroots support; maybe he’ll ride out on a similar wave.