Operation Choke Point responsible for Square anti-gun policy?

The square, a small and mobile credit card processor. (Photo: The Daily SIgnal)

The square, a small and mobile credit card processor. (Photo: The Daily Signal)

What exactly is Operation Choke Point?

Well, if one asks the Department of Justice, which initiated the operation in 2013, it’s an anti-fraud, anti-money laundering, anti-terrorist financing effort that encourages banks and money lenders to cut ties with companies that may be engaged in nefarious activities.

Ostensibly, it’s making it more difficult for bad guys to do business in the marketplace.

But critics of Operation Choke Point wonder if it’s not just targeting bad guys, but lawful businesses that the Obama administration has a beef with, e.g., firearms and ammunition manufacturers.

The Daily Signal, the media organization for The Heritage Foundation, intimated as much in a recent article in which it pointed out the timeliness in which the creators of the Square, the small devise that allows businesses to process credit card transactions, issued their anti-gun policy.  The article states the following, then quotes the policy:

Last summer, around the same time the U.S. Department of Justice’s Operation Choke Point began pressuring banks to drop customers who buy or sell firearms, tobacco and other goods considered “not acceptable” by the Obama administration, Square quietly changed its terms of agreement.

In an alert regarding a change of terms, Square notified vendors:

…you will not accept payments in connection with the following businesses or business activities: …sales of (i) firearms, firearm parts or hardware, and ammunition; or (ii) weapons and other devices designed to cause physical injury.

The Daily Signal further notes that Square has since doubled down on its anti-gun stance, prohibiting gun dealers from not only selling “online” but from using the credit processor when conducting business both in their store locations and remotely while attending gun shows when the device is most convenient.

From the perspective of The Daily Signal, it’s no coincidence. The evidence suggests that there is “an all-out war on Second Amendment supporters in the financial marketplace, it fits the bill of an Operation Choke Point target.” The Square’s changes in policy are just the latest example.

GunsAmerica reached out to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, to get its take on the Square and Operation Choke Point.

“We are attempting to contact this company and have them revisit their discriminatory business policy,” said Larry Keane, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary & General Counsel for the NSSF, in an email to GunsAmerica.

“We are working toward addressing the larger issue (vs Operation Choke Point) of discrimination against members of our industry simply because we are engaged in the lawful commerce of firearms and ammunition products,” Keane continued.

While it’s not clear whether the Square’s anti-gun policy is a product of Operation Choke Point or the volition of the company’s executives, one thing is clear: gun owners, gun dealers and 2A advocates should fight back against this anti-gun sentiment by openly and enthusiastically supporting businesses that believe in one’s Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. In short, fight fire with fire. Give your money to businesses that believe in the 2A.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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{ 1 comment… add one }
  • PCI Pass-Through Liability May 27, 2016, 3:53 pm

    Don’t worry about Square, when customers find out they are as responsible for PCI Compliance and Audits as Square Inc. which subjects them to $10,000 fines from the card industry giants, they will flee in droves.

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