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January 29, 2015

FDIC Reverses Course on ‘Operation Choke Point’


In a major development concerning NSSF’s leadership to halt discrimination in the provision of financial services and products to firearms related businesses due to “Operation Choke Point,” the top officials of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) on Wednesday admitted wrongdoing and said they would cease practices that had the effect of encouraging such disparate treatment.

U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) released a statement after a meeting with Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chairman Martin Gruenberg and Vice Chairman Tom Hoenig discussing the agency’s involvement in Operation Choke Point.

Today, the Congressman told NSSF, “After a year of mounting pressure from Congress and outside organizations like the National Shooting Sports Foundation, top officials from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation finally acknowledged their involvement and wrongdoing in Operation Choke Point. While I am very pleased the FDIC will put in place new polices and change the culture at the agency, there is still work to be done, specifically with the Department of Justice. I am pleased the National Shooting Sports Foundation supports my legislation, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, and I have no doubt the foundation will remain steadfast in educating its members and continuing the fight in ending Operation Choke Point once and for all.”

The FDIC’s important admission immediately received the attention of the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, which filed this comprehensive story by news producer Kelsey Harkness.

Earlier this week, the firearms industry’s outspoken opposition to discriminatory financial services practices was the subject of major print and video coverage by the Daily Signal’s Harkness, who traveled to the SHOT Show to gauge industry response, including an exclusive interview with NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Lawrence G. Keane.

NSSF will continue to keep you informed of developments in our ongoing initiative to identify and end willful and unfair discrimination in the provision of financial services and products against businesses involved in the lawful commerce in firearms, related products and services.