“Oh, you got one of the gun letters,”
A gun and pawn shop owner in Florida received what he was told is “one of the gun letters” from his bank last month informing him that his business is no longer welcome.
Steve Champion, who opened American Gun & Pawn in Brooksville last year, received a letter from SunTrust on March 20, stating that he’ll have to close his accounts by April 20.
“At first I thought it must be a hoax,” Champion told WFLA. “This is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen,” he wrote on his Facebook account, where he also posted the SunTrust letter.
The letter matches others sent to pawn shops and gun store owners across the country. Though banks and the federal government have remained tight-lipped about the closures, they are believed to be related to Operation Choke Point, a Department of Justice initiative ostensibly aimed at ending bank fraud. Choke Point has identified nearly 30 types of businesses as being at “high-risk” for fraudulent and illegal activities. The “high-risk” list includes gun shops, pawn shops, coin dealers and payday lenders.