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DOJ accused of blocking legal gun shops, other businesses from banking

In yet another example of overreach by a federal bureaucracy, the Department of Justice has been accused of arbitrarily blocking certain businesses from banking. We've published an excerpt from the Fox News article below:

Mike Schuetz operates a small gun shop in northern Wisconsin called Hawkins Guns. In November, just before one of his peak selling times, his local credit union notified him his account needed to be closed. 

"The bank manager said they made a mistake, and they were not supposed to open accounts for those people involved in high-risk industries, which the gun industry and ammunition industry is one of those," Schuetz said. 

It turned out there was a list created by a Justice Department program called Operation Choke Point. The list equates legal gun sellers like Schuetz with escort services, Ponzi schemes, people who sell cable TV de-scramblers -- and at least 30 other industries. 

The program, which is facing tough questions in Congress, intimidates banks with the threat of heightened scrutiny and increased audits if accounts are maintained in those industries. 

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wis., said Operation Choke Point began as a means of combating fraudulent businesses -- but evolved into an arbitrary list of businesses targeted by bureaucrats in the DOJ and banking regulators purely on moral grounds, backed by no legislation 

"What they've done is they put short-term lenders out of business, gun dealers out of business, ammunition manufacturers out of business. Because in America, if you can't bank, you can't do business," Duffy said.

Click here to read more from Fox News.