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Operation Choke Point: Bank forces pawn shop to close its accounts

August 7, 2014

 operation choke pointWhen the Congress failed to pass cap and trade legislation a few years ago Barack Obama quipped “there is more than one way to skin a cat.” Of course we all knew what he meant by that and since that time the EPA has been working on regulations which would for all intents and purposes implement the president’s agenda.

  Although you have not heard much about it, the same can be said about gun control. Having failed to push any type of gun control through the Congress Barack Obama is in the process of using other, more nefarious, means to make it harder to purchase guns.

  Instead of going after gun owners the Federal government is using a program called Operation Choke Point to intimidate banks and make them think twice about doing business with gun dealers and other “high risk” businesses–choke off the suppliers. This program is supposedly designed to protect consumers but is also being used for ulterior motives.

    The latest example of this comes from South Carolina where Morris Williams claims his bank is forcing him to close his accounts because he is basically a two-time loser in the eyes of the Federal government–he owns a pawn shop and he sells guns.

  Here is more:

A South Carolina pawn shop owner who sells guns, guitars and an array of other items says that his bank forced him to close his accounts, and he thinks it is because of the weapons.

Morris Williams, who owns Inman Gun and Pawn, says he thought his relationship with SunTrust Bank was fine — “excellent” in fact.

“We have ample funds in the account to do anything we needed to do,” Williams told Fox Carolina, adding that he thought “everything was just wonderful.”

But then the bank sent him a letter.

“Under the Rules and Regulations for Deposit Accounts, and as a result of our recent decision, we must ask you to close the below listed SunTrust accounts,” the letter reads.

  What rules and regulations for deposit accounts is the bank talking about and what changed since the time these accounts were opened? You know what I think is happening here and Mr. Williams feels the same way:

“The only thing that they will tell us is that we have been deemed a prohibited business type,” he told Fox Carolina, adding that he believes his shop was targeted by the federal government because he sells guns.

  SunTrust Bank had the following to say:

“As a general rule, we do enable banking relationships with licensed firearms dealers. There are some businesses that we will no longer maintain banking relationships with, particularly those in certain businesses such as pay day lenders and pawn shops, due to the increased risk and costs associated with servicing such accounts.”

  Suddenly the bank will no longer do business with certain legitimate businesses, and while they are denying this has anything to do with guns, it is clear to me that Operation Choke Point is the reason behind this decision.

  SunTrust Bank would rather lose a few customers than feel extra scrutiny from the Federal government for dealing with a business with which the regime does not approve.

  Operation Choke Point is in its infancy but it is beginning to take hold. The number of people affected by this is still rather small but the list is growing and it will continue to do so over time.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. LD Jackson permalink
    August 7, 2014 7:40 am

    It seems to me this may have some to do with both issues; gun control and pawn shops. The government is in overdrive, trying to “protect” us from ourselves. We can’t be trusted to own guns and we can’t be trusted to not engage in activity at a pawn shop that would cause us to lose money or property.

    It all boils down to one thing. The government can’t keep its hands to itself and its nose out of our business.


    • August 7, 2014 3:35 pm

      Hm. If Steve’s reply below is accurate, that the government has taken firearms dealers and payday lenders off the risk list, then your comments would be inaccurate.

      Take good care, and may God bless us all!



      • LD Jackson permalink
        August 7, 2014 5:43 pm

        That may be true, to a degree. However, I’ll stand by my assertion that the government refuses to stay out of our business.


    • August 7, 2014 8:59 pm

      I don’t think that makes Larry’s comment inaccurate; his point is that the government doesn’t think we can be trusted to do what is right without their getting involved in certain issues.


  2. August 7, 2014 8:43 am

    What’s the big deal over another industry suffering under the iron fist of our progressive government when, after all, this same government has created over 10 million jobs under Obama’s job creation policies? (Note sarcasm)


  3. August 7, 2014 9:17 am

    As an FFL here in TX, I have been following this Operation Choke Point nonsense for a while. There was an update to this posted on the NSSF website on Monday, the 4th, in which they said that the FDIC has taken gun dealers OFF the watch list. In that article they linked to another article from the Washington Times from July 28th reporting that not only gun dealers, but also payday lenders, have been removed from the list of risky businesses. Not sure what the status of pawn brokers may be. Hopefully we won’t hear any more of these stories of gun dealers being improperly targeted (pun intended).


  4. August 7, 2014 8:33 pm

    Sun trust is on one of Obama’s hit list. So perhaps this is part of their so called settlements that the Feds extort.

    In a filing this week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Atlanta bank disclosed that it hadn’t been able to resolve the matter as part of a nearly $1 billion settlement in June with the U.S. Justice Department over the bank’s alleged improper mortgage lending and foreclosure practices during the financial crisis.
    Last month, SunTrust also agreed to pay up to $320 million to settle a criminal investigation by federal authorities that it misled homeowners seeking loan modifications in the wake of the financial crisis.


    • August 7, 2014 9:02 pm

      Thanks for that info, there is no doubt in my mind Sun Trust was worried and that is why they did this. Even if it wasn’t for selling guns it was because of the business they were in.


  5. Millisia Brown permalink
    October 30, 2014 7:18 pm

    I just received a letter today, October 30, 2014 from Suntrust advising me that after 8 years of banking with them, they after a recent account review, they regret to inform me that they will no longer be able to provide the financial services that I require and they are forcing me to close all of my accounts. I am just at a loss for words. I don’t have over drafts, I don’t sell guns and don’t seem to be able to get any answers from them. My son with whom I have a joint account with is in the Army and just returned after a 9 month tour of duty in Afghanistan, all the while using his debit card while there, in addition, I was out of the country on vacation in Mexico for 6 days.the bank was notified prior to our departure that we would be out of the country. I wonder if this travel has something to do with their decision to basically kick me to the curb? I have 6 accounts with them and if I don’t have all of my money moved in 10 days they are going to freeze my debit cards. I feel so betrayed by this action. I have spent years praising Suntrust. That changes effective today.

    Liked by 1 person

    • October 30, 2014 7:24 pm

      This is very troubling to say the least! I hope and I pray that everything works out for you.


  6. May 4, 2015 1:49 pm

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  7. May 25, 2015 8:02 pm




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