Diary

Is Operation Choke Point making a comeback in GOP-controlled Washington?

In 2013, Barack Obama and Erik Holder launched Operation Choke Point (OCP), an initiative that gave the government power to use banks and financial institutions to track down companies suspected of illegal activities.

Like just about everything else Obama did, OCP violated our Constitutional rights—in this case the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable search and seizure. However, the community organizer also used OCP as a back-door method to dismantle the Second Amendment by using banks to shut down “risky” gun dealers by denying them bank services. In 2015, a gun store in Hawkins, WI, was driven out of business when their bank closed their account simply because they sold guns and ammo.

Obama’s dictatorial use of OCP eventually led to the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act (FICPA) in 2016. Co-sponsored by Sens. Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, the bill was designed to prevent the government from using banking services to target firearms businesses for doing nothing more than exercising their Constitutional rights.

FICPA was revived in 2017 in the House, and while it hasn’t become law yet, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced last summer that he was committed to ending the unconstitutional program.

But all of this transpired before the high school shooting in Parkland, FL. Since that tragedy, there’s been a new willingness by Trump and the GOP to abandon liberty in the name of safety. Gone is the commitment to protect the Constitution. Instead, a Dianne Feinstein-friendly approach to chipping away at the Second Amendment has taken its place.

Already on record as being in favor of denying due process rights in order to seize our guns, Trump has joined hands with Republicrats, Trumplicans, and Democrats—sorry if that was being redundant—to advance a host of anti-Second Amendment schemes.

One such scheme is a proposal known as “Fix NICS.” Though supposedly an improvement to background checks, this bill is so flawed that it would give government the power to seize guns simply for having unpaid parking tickets. Bad news, right? That’s not the worst of it. Fix NICS is part of the new Omnibus bill to finance the government for the rest of the year.

Since we’re talking about gun control and finances once again, it looks like Operation Choke Point could be on the way back. Citigroup announced yesterday that they will cease doing business with firearms dealers unless they adopt a host of anti-gun proposals, such as not selling guns to anyone under 21.

According to Citigroup’s head of global public affairs, Ed Skyler, this new policy isn’t intended to “rid the world of firearms.” However, it should be noted that Skyler served under former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg for eight years. As you’re probably aware, Bloomberg is the founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, a major player in the anti-Second Amendment movement.

Will Trump and the GOP keep OCP from making a return? Will they stop people like Bloomberg? Or will they cave to anti-gun hysteria and welcome them into their Constitution-killing fold. Based on recent history, the answer to these questions aren’t looking too good.

Originally posted on The Strident Conservative.

 

David Leach is the owner of The Strident Conservative. His politically incorrect and always “right” columns are featured on RedState.com, NOQReport.com, and TheResurgent.com.

His daily radio commentary is nationally syndicated with Salem Radio Network and can be heard on stations across America.

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