The Obama administration, after failing to get gun control passed on Capitol Hill, has resorted to using its executive power to try to put some in the firearms industry out of business, House Republican investigators say.
The assertion is included in a report recently released by California GOP Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.
Citing internal Justice Department documents, the committee concluded that the administration used a program known as Operation Choke Point to target legal companies that it finds “objectionable.”
The program was started in 2013 to protect consumers by “choking” alleged fraudsters’ access to the banking system. The Justice Department essentially forces banks and third-party payment processors to stop accepting payments from companies that are considered “high risk” and are supposedly violating federal law.
However, the documents released by Issa’s committee show the federal government lumped the firearms industry in with other “high-risk” businesses including those dealing with pornography, drug paraphernalia, escort services, racist materials, Ponzi schemes and online gambling.
The committee also reported that Attorney General Eric Holder was informed the program has been shutting down legal businesses.
“We have documented that they are going after gun and ammunitions manufacturers, gun sellers and non-deposit lenders. Their own memos show they are well beyond enforcing the law,” Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer, R-Mo., said Friday.
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