Gun retailers say the Obama administration is imposing regulations that will put them out of business, the Washington Times reports.
The retailers say the administration is choking off their credit lines, freezing their assets, and prohibiting online sales.
Since 2011, regulators have increased scrutiny on banks’ customers. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in 2011 urged banks to better manage the risks of their merchant customers who employ payment processors, such as PayPal, for credit card transactions. The FDIC listed gun retailers as “high risk” along with porn stores and drug paraphernalia shops.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has launched Operation Choke Point, a credit card fraud probe focusing on banks and payment processors. The threat of enforcement has prompted some banks to cut ties with online gun retailers, even if those companies have valid licenses and good credit histories.
Gun retailers say they are being targeted in the Justice Department’s efforts to combat fraud. Retailers reported frozen accounts and being dropped by banks.
Congressional Republicans say the Obama administration is using its regulatory powers to shutter industries it doesn’t like. Last year, 31 Republicans accused the Justice Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. of intimidating banks and payment processors to “terminate business relationships with lawful lenders.”