Backdoor Gun Control: Justice Department Applies Pressure so Banks Refuse Service to Gun Stores

holder goes after gun shopsThe current criminal Attorney General, who has been found to be in contempt of Congress after failing to provide subpoenaed documents in the Fast and Furious scandal, which his department was involved in trafficking thousands of guns across the US/Mexico border that resulted in the deaths of hundreds of Mexicans and at least two federal agents, has now been caught in yet another scandal. For the past several months, the DOJ has been putting pressure on banks, in a program referred to as Operation ChokePoint, to not provide services that the Justice Department is targeting politically. Among those businesses are gun stores.

The DOJ has been targeting several businesses besides gun stores. They include pornography distributors and actresses, sellers of drug paraphernalia and dating services.

According to a 2011 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation bulletin, which lists “merchant categories that have been associated with high-risk activity” involving “disreputable merchants,” it appears that the DOJ is attempting to malign legal gun stores, as well as other businesses. The bulletin, in essence, seeks to put these businesses in the category of “Ponzi schemes,” “get rich products” and “high risk” activities.

“Although many clients of payment processors are reputable merchants, an increasing number are not and should be considered ‘high risk,'” the bulletin reads. “These disreputable merchants use payment processors to charge consumers for questionable or fraudulent goods and services.”

In 2012, the Daily Caller reported that Bank of America told McMillan Fiberglass Stocks, McMillan Firearms Manufacturing and McMillan Group International that they would no longer be doing business with them after being their banker for 12 years.

Michael Piccione recounted Operations director Kelly McMillan’s Facebook post regarding a meeting he with Ray Fox, a business banking Senior Vice President at Bank of America. While the meeting was supposed to be an “account analysis” meeting, it quickly became, in the words of Piccione, “a political smackdown.”

The Bank of America emissary, he said, “spent 5 minutes talking about how McMillan has changed in the last 5 years and have become more of a firearms manufacturer than a supplier of accessories.”

“At this point I interrupted him,” McMillan said, and asked, ‘Can I possibly save you some time so that you don’t waste your breath? What you are going to tell me is that because we are in the firearms manufacturing business you no longer what my business.'”

Fox’s reply, according to McMillan? “That is correct.”

McMillan told TheDC that he plans to move his company’s account to “a more Second Amendment-friendly bank” as soon as it can be done.

He recalls telling the bank executive that he planned to tell the National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, and his other gun-loving friends “that Bank of America is not firearms-industry-friendly.”

“You have to do what you must” was Fox’s reply, he said. “We have to assess the risk of doing business with a firearms related industry.”

While Bank of America may have won a battle, the McMillan Group was considering not accepting BOA credit cards for purchases.

Bank of America is not the only business to engage in this type of activity via the politics of the Obama DOJ. In March 2014, BitPay, a US-based bitcoin processor, also refused to do business with Central Texas Gunworks owner Michael Cargill.

Also in March, the Miami New Times reported that BankUnited informed a Florida couple that their checking account was being closed due to their gun store. For years the couple never had a problem, until T. R. Liberti decided to retire and let his wife, Elizabeth, operate the store online under the name Discount Ammo-N-Guns. That’s when the couple received a letter from the bank informing them that their account was being closed “pursuant to the terms and conditions listed in our Depositor’s Agreement.”

Though they contacted the bank for an explanation, they were told that none would be forthcoming. They also had three days to arrange for the cash in the account to be transferred.

“I was very angry,” Elizabeth says. “They were very inconsiderate. We had all our credit cards going through that bank. All of a sudden, we had to run and find another bank to keep our business going. We shut down for two weeks, and they wouldn’t even tell us why.”

The Times went on to report:

After a day of dialing different BankUnited divisions and directors, the Libertis finally found out.

“This letter in no way reflects any derogatory reasons for such action on your behalf. But rather one of industry,” wrote Coral Way branch manager Ricardo Garcia. “Unfortunately your company’s line of business is not commensurate with the industries we work with.”

BankUnited refused to explain the email to New Times, saying only, “We cannot discuss a customer’s account.”

But T.R. Liberti says the once-local bank has taken a turn toward anti-gun policies since it was bought by New York investors during the financial crisis.

“They have that [former New York mayor Michael] Bloomberg attitude of guns are bad and anyone who has a gun is bad. You know the lot,” he says. “That’s cute, because Bloomberg has four bodyguards, and they all carry guns. You don’t have that when you are broken down on Biscayne Boulevard at 3 in the morning.”

The Liberti’s are considering a lawsuit.

Jason Oxman, the CEO of the Electronic Transactions Association, which represents more than 500 payments and technology companies, wrote at The Hill about operation Chokepoint:

The “chokepoint” in this operation is the nation’s payments infrastructure, the means by which merchants process nearly $5 trillion in consumer purchases in the U.S. each year.  Federal law enforcers are targeting merchant categories like payday lenders, ammunition and tobacco sales, and telemarketers – but not merely by pursuing those merchants directly.  Rather, Operation Chokepoint is flooding payments companies that provide processing service to those industries with subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and other burdensome and costly legal demands.

The theory behind this enforcement program has superficial logic: increase the legal and compliance costs of serving certain disfavored merchant categories, and payments companies will simply stop providing service to such merchants.  And it’s working – payments companies across the country are cutting off service to categories of merchants that – although providing a legal service – are creating the potential for significant financial and reputational harm as law enforcement publicizes its activities.  Thus far, payday lenders have been the most frequent target.  Whatever the merits of payday lending – and there are valid arguments on both sides –it is legal in 36 states.  And if payday lenders are today’s target– what category will be next and who makes that decision?

Not only are these Marxist policies being put into place in order to attack the gun industry, and as a workaround to attacking the Second Amendment, but they end up attacking the very economy that this administration claims to be fixing. We all know that is a lie. They aren’t attempting to fix anything. This is the Alinsky method of creating discontent. What’s going on is criminal behavior from an ironically named “Justice Department” to advance an agenda, and it isn’t a pro-American agenda that is the goal.

Tim Brown is the Editor of Freedom Outpost.

Don't forget to follow the D.C. Clothesline on Facebook and Twitter. PLEASE help spread the word by sharing our articles on your favorite social networks.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

24 Responses to Backdoor Gun Control: Justice Department Applies Pressure so Banks Refuse Service to Gun Stores

  1. Rocky says:

    I’m so upset! Robodud didn’t even congratulate me for finding proof that this article was true….. I’m beginning to get a complex – twice now I provided proof that an article was true. :) bwahahahahaha!

    • Laura Bernard Mielcarek says:

      Ah, Rocky, he just ignores those OR posts another ridiculous attempt at discrediting the source.

  2. Rocky says:

    Love to prove robo wrong!

  3. Davep326 says:

    If the banks can play that game, so can banking customers. I would support a boycott of Bank of America, or ANY bank which submits to these backdoor strong-arm tactics. Dealing illegal drugs is a high risk business; operating a gun dealership is not, nor is any gun-related business, like McMillan’s gunstocks. This administration is just a gang un unethical, unscrupulous gangsters. They view the Constitution as an obstacle, rather than something to be honored and followed.

  4. Rocky says:

    Thanks! Have them all marked!

  5. n3angus says:

    All these Failures in Foreign Policy and the Lives lost in the process of Trying to Keep the US Dollar the Trade currency for the world is whats going on and when the BRICS Formally Introduce the WTO to the NEW Trade Currency Reset will be the event that Hyper inflates the USA Economy and causes Obama to have to Nationalize the Free Markets is what is Really going on …..

    The Domestic Violence that the Local , State and Federal law enforcement agencies are Preparing for will Be due to this Hyper Inflationary event on peoples Lives will trigger the rebellion as this transition gets underway , and there is Nothing anyone can do to stop it , because we are to dependent on a Majority of Foreign Supply and when this Currency reset takes place the flow of Imports into the USA will shrink due to foreign suppliers taking less dollars for the settlement of the trade for these durables , and this less supply will hyper inflate the existing supply in the States , this in turn will give Obama the Economic Crisis to Nationalize the Free markets , this is the goal of the Environmentalists who Control the US Government !!!!!

    Here is what Ukraine is all about !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    This will Bring the Stock market Collapse , The Last American Alamo

    http://philosophyofmetrics.com/2014/05/03/the-last-american-alamo/

  6. Rocky says:

    As if the Government wasn’t a ponzi scheme!

  7. rbodell says:

    So what is the problem here? I thought you didn’t want electronic records?

    If you have to live on a credit card, then you should be concentrating on paying your debts rather than running up more.

    • James NS says:

      While that is a fact, the federal government has ZERO business pressuring anybody, let alone banks.

      The federal government is supposed to do three things; keep our foreign relations up to par with our allies, keep a keen eye on our foreign enemies, and protect the republics interest overseas. The rest of what goes on can be handled by the individual states.

      • rbodell says:

        show me a link to a bank or government website that backs this up or it didn’t happen.

        • Laura Bernard Mielcarek says:

          “For the past several months, the DOJ has been putting pressure on banks, in a program referred to as Operation ChokePoint, to not provide services that the Justice Department is targeting politically. Among those businesses are gun stores.

          The DOJ has been targeting several businesses besides gun stores. They include pornography distributors and actresses, sellers of drug paraphernalia and dating services.

          According to a 2011 Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation bulletin, which lists “merchant categories that have been associated with high-risk activity” involving “disreputable merchants,” it appears that the DOJ is attempting to malign legal gun stores, as well as other businesses. The bulletin, in essence, seeks to put these businesses in the category of “Ponzi schemes,” “get rich products” and “high risk” activities.”

          What part of the DOJ, Operation ChokePoint, and an FDIC bulletin is not clear to you robodud?

          • Davep326 says:

            The links are in the story. If you read it, you’d see them ALL at the bottom. It was Bank of America, but if you want to email McMillan (google it) I’m sure they would confirm it.

          • Laura Bernard Mielcarek says:

            My comment was a quote from the article in response to robodud’s claim that if it didn’t come from a government site it didn’t happen. He refuses to believe anything in a dcc article unless it has a government or MSM source. He’s a little funny like that.

            At the bottom are tags for the purpose of searching the dcc articles. One can search for a word and all the articles with that word will be listed in the search results. This article will come up when one searches the dcc site for any of those ‘tagged’ words.

          • Davep326 says:

            My apologies. They way it was shown I thought YOU wrote it. Sorry.

          • Laura Bernard Mielcarek says:

            No apology necessary. I should have included ‘from the article’ or words to that effect – my error. I always try to properly cite my quotes. :)

          • Laura Bernard Mielcarek says:

            Thanks for your help, though. :)

Leave a Reply