House Looks to End Operation Choke Point


Of all the Obama administration’s sneaky efforts to undermine the Second Amendment, Operation Choke Point may be the sneakiest. This Justice Department initiative – still shrouded in layers of secrecy – was supposedly intended to protect consumers against fraud by discouraging banks from doing business with “high risk” establishments. Chief among those establishments are pawn shops, payday lenders, and gun dealers. Critics say that, in practice, Operation Choke Point has shut down reputable businesses.

Now the House of Representatives has approved the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act with an amendment that prohibits funding Operation Choke Point. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri, the amendment’s sponsor, said it was a necessary step for freedom. “My colleagues and I will continue to ensure [the Justice Department] and FDIC enforcement actions are focused on actual threats and risks and not politics and ideology as we continue to move forward with the fight to end this illegal program once and for all.”

The funding bill must still pass the Senate, but House members are hopeful that this will put the final nail in the coffin of this illegitimate Justice Department operation. Republicans sponsoring the amendment are concerned about how the operation is affecting their local economies. Some cities depend heavily on these controversial businesses, and they are being hurt by an overzealous federal government.

While that alone is enough to support the end of Operation Choke Point, the effect it is having on gun dealers is even more ominous. By making it fiscally impossible for banks to do business with gun shops, the Obama administration has found yet another way to infringe on the Second Amendment. Gun shops all around the country have found themselves without a bank account for no other reason than for being involved in a politically unpopular field of business.

This week has been an interesting one for the subject of gun control in America. Vince Vaughn made some comments in an interview with GQ Magazine that had liberal tongues wagging at his libertarianism. At the same time, Democrats in the House want to force gun manufacturers to use smart gun trigger locks – a technology that doesn’t happen to exist. And the ATF is planning to craft new rules that would put guns out of the reach of anyone convicted of a misdemeanor domestic violence charge.

At all times, our freedoms are under assault. The Constitution was supposed to enshrine these basic rights for all time, but Democrats are not to be thwarted by something so insignificant as our founding document. Time and again, this administration has tried to undermine our democracy with executive orders, secrecy, and “discretion.” Good on Republican lawmakers for standing up to this tyranny, but it doesn’t mean anything until it’s passed. Our conservative leaders have a bad habit of giving up in the 4th quarter.