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Gun dealer shuts down, lawmaker vows more oversight of Operation Choke Point


Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) told TheBlaze Tuesday that Republicans next year will step up pressure to expose and rein Operation Choke Point, a secretive Obama administration program that's been used to shut down companies in the gun industry and others opposed by the administration.

Duffy spoke just days after he blamed Operation Choke Point for closing down a gun dealer in Wisconsin.

Screen Shot 2014-11-18 at 1.10.44 PM Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) says House lawmakers will be more aggressive in their oversight of Operation Choke Point next year.
Image: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call,Inc.

"I think you'll see the committee focus more aggressively on Choke Point in the new Congress," he told TheBlaze, speaking of the House Financial Services Committee.

"I think we'll use every tool at our disposal to expose what's taking place with Operation Choke Point, whether it's with the DOJ or with the bank and credit union regulators," he said.

Choke Point was originally aimed at preventing criminal enterprises from accessing banks and other parts of the financial system. But many have said the program has expanded dramatically, and is being used to prevent many legal businesses from using the financial intermediaries they need to operate, just because they are opposed by Obama administration officials.

Companies thought to have been affected by Choke Point include payday lenders, pawn shops and gun-related industries, to name just a few. There have been reports that banks call these companies up to say they can no longer providing financial services, and these decisions are thought to be driven by pressure from the Obama administration.

Duffy said that in his district, Hawkins Guns LLC opened up a bank account with Heritage Credit Union, and was told just one day later that the credit union had to close the account.

"They told me I had to close the account because they do not service companies that deal in guns," a company representative wrote on Duffy's Facebook page. "This is just a backdoor way for those wanting to infringe upon your rights to keep and bear arms and is nothing more than discrimination to gun owners."

"Operation Choke Point, the administration's backdoor initiative to shut down law-abiding gun dealers, is happening right here in central Wisconsin," Duffy wrote.

Duffy said the committee is exploring ways to show voters how destructive and unaccountable it is, but said he had no details to share yet on what the committee will do.

"My hope is we're going to be able to expose what's going on," he said.

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