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With President Trump getting so much press, a few hangovers from the previous administration have managed to escape notice. As we noted, Operation Choke Point, supposedly a measure against consumer fraud, pressured financial institutions doing business with allegedly “high risk” companies. These included Ponzi schemes, payday lenders, escort services and such, but the DOJ also saw fit to put legitimate gun and ammunition dealers on the list. Guns were the primary target and the federal DOJ sought to put dealers out of business by making it impossible for them to conduct banking operations. As former U.S. Marine Mike Schuetz of Hawkins Guns LLC explained, Operation Choke Point was “a back-door way for those wanting to infringe on your rights to keep and bear and is nothing more than discrimination to gun owners.” Brian Wise, of the U.S. Consumer Coalition, told reporters that thousands of businesses have had their bank accounts closed, and Operation Choke Point was “one of the greatest abuses of power that the country has never heard of.” That is true, but now that abuse has come to an end.
Fox News reports that after pressure from House Republicans, the Trump administration duly ended Operation Choke Point. As Assistant Attorney General Steven Boyd explained, “All of the Department’s bank investigations conducted as part of Operation Chokepoint are now over, the initiative is no longer in effect, and it will not be undertaken again.” Legitimate gun dealers were jubilant, but some, including Mike Schuetz, are still dealing with the fallout. Government disregard for constitutional rights always has negative consequences, and this calls for reflection and vigilance. Concerned Americans might review the way Nazi Germany handled the issue in Stephen P. Halbrook’s Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming Jews and “Enemies of the State.”