Obama anti-gun agenda rejected by Americans, White House switches to regulatory tricks

The Obama administration is quietly taking a new angle to impose its anti-gun agenda. Though the FDIC and the Justice Department, federal regulators are pressuring financial institutions and payment processors to end business relationship with gun retailers, labeling them as “high-risk,” according to The Washington Times:

Since 2011, regulators have increased scrutiny on banks’ customers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2011 urged banks to better manage the risks of their merchant customers who employ payment processors, such as PayPal, for credit card transactions. The FDIC listed gun retailers as “high risk” along with porn stores and drug paraphernalia shops.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has launched Operation Choke Point, a credit card fraud probe focusing on banks and payment processors. The threat of enforcement has prompted some banks to cut ties with online gun retailers, even if those companies have valid licenses and good credit histories.

“This administration has very clearly told the banking industry which customers they feel represent ‘reputational risk’ to do business with,” said Peter Weinstock, a lawyer at Hunton & Williams LLP. “So financial institutions are reacting to this extraordinary enforcement arsenal by being ultra-conservative in who they do business with: Any companies that engage in any margin of risk as defined by this administration are being dropped.”
[…]
Justice’s operation threatens to “close access to the financial system to law-abiding businesses, because the mere prospect of an enforcement action is sufficient to cause financial institutions to restrict access to their payment systems to only established companies that present low risks,” the [Independent Community Bankers of America] said.

This is pretty outrageous. Keep in mind that the gun industry is already heavily regulated. No one can purchase a firearm from a gun retailer without first passing a federal background check. The same applies for firearms purchased online.

But President Barack Obama hasn’t been able to get his anti-gun agenda through Congress — the push for new gun control laws was defeated in April 2013 — so his administration is using regulatory schemes to crackdown on perfectly legal businesses to prevent law-abiding Americans from purchasing firearms.

The Washington Times notes that there is no statutory authority for what the administration is doing, not that this has ever stopped its lawlessness. And while the administration defends its pernicious actions, what its doing poses a real and costly hurdle for financial institutions, especially smaller ones.

President Obama’s gun control agenda may dead in Congress, but the regulatory state — the uber-executive’s best friend — has found a new way to trample on Americans’ Second Amendment rights.


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