By now, knowledgeable members of the pro-gun community are well aware of Operation Choke Point (OPC) and its effect on lawful firearm-related businesses. As we have often reported (here, here, and here, for example), OPC is a deliberate attempt by federal regulators to pressure banks to sever or avoid business relationships with legitimate industries that are considered politically objectionable, including firearms and ammunition sales. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has issued reports condemning the participation of both the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) in the program. Internal investigators at both agencies have also launched their own probes into allegations of abusive practices under the guise of OPC.
According a recent article by State Net (a provider of legal research tools), however, the administration’s use of banking regulators for political purposes goes both ways.
Titled “Cashed Out: Legal Weed Outlets Flush In Cash Struggling To Find Banks,” the piece recounts the “unique problem” facing prosperous marijuana businesses operating legally under state laws that are finding banks reluctant to provide them with services. This is perhaps not surprising, given that marijuana distribution is still, after all, a federal crime, and banks that knowingly do business with …read more