A gun store owner provided evidence to “Fox & Friends” Tuesday that his firearms business had been targeted by “Operation Choke Point,” a clandestine federal program overseen by the Justice Department.
Mike Schuetz, owner of Hawkins Guns LLC, in Wisconsin, told Fox’s Kimberly Guilfoyle that he had audio recordings between himself and Heritage Credit Union.
The recorded conversation revealed that Schuetz’s recently opened bank account had been closed because Heritage Credit does “not service businesses that deal in guns and ammunition,” according to Fox Insider.
Small business owners like Schuetz claim their livelihoods have suffered under Operation Choke Point. And critics of the program say banks and financial institutions were pressured to cut off accounts to businesses the feds deemed “morally objectionable.”
According to Fox News, those businesses included “gun stores, casinos, tobacco distributors, short-term lenders and other businesses.
Congressional hearings over the DOJ’s Operation Choke Point were set to begin Tuesday by legislative members who call the program a blatant abuse of power.
The DOJ issued a statement to the contrary.
“We do not target business operating within the bounds of the law and we hve no interest in pursuing and/or discouraging lawful conduct.” the DOJ statement said.
Schuetz hopes the hearings will put an end to the DOJ program and hold accountable those who put it in place.
“Our concern is you have agencies in the Obama administration that are using government as a weapon and they are going after industries and people that they don’t like,” said Rep. Sean Duffy R-Wisc.
“This is not the old Soviet Union or Venezuela or Cuba. I think it’s important for all Americans to stand up and push back on policies that are an abuse of government,” Duffy said.
Schuetz who also operates a private investigation company said, “It’s a sad day in America when this kind of things happens to you.”
“I didn’t realize how big of an issue it was until I started investigating what had happened to me.”
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