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BankUnited N.A., which dropped Top Gun Firearms Training & Supply in Miami from its customer list, declined to comment.

In a statement to The Washington Times, Bank of America said: “We would not deny banking services to an organization solely on the basis of its industry.”

The banking giant blamed a misunderstanding with the Arizona gun manufacturers McMillan Group International and American Spirit Arms.

However, the American Banking Association, the industry’s advocacy group in Washington, said businesses deemed “risky” will be frozen out of the financial system if the Justice Department continues Operation Choke Point because the regulatory burden and risk of investigation will be too great for less-specialized banks to bear.

“We’re being threatened with a regulatory regime that attempts to foist on us the obligation to monitor all types of transactions,” Richard Riese, a senior vice president at the American Bankers Association, said in the April 28 issue of American Banker. “All of this is predicated on a notion that the banks are a choke point for all businesses.”

In an interview with The Times, Mr. Riese said the cost of doing business with gun retailers outweighs the benefits for some banks, given that regulators deem the industry as “risky,” state laws vary on the sale of guns and ammunition, and the Justice Department’s enforcement.

The Independent Community Bankers of America, an association for small banks, said enforcement actions from the Justice Department are too broad and overly aggressive.

“While preventing fraud is a top concern for community banks, it needs to be balanced with ensuring that businesses and consumers that operate in accordance with applicable laws can still access payment systems,” bankers association President Camden Fine told the Justice Department in an April 7 letter. “ICBA requests that the DOJ suspend Operation Choke Point immediately and focus its resources directly on businesses that may be violating the law, rather than targeting banks providing payment services.”

Justice’s operation threatens to “close access to the financial system to law-abiding businesses, because the mere prospect of an enforcement action is sufficient to cause financial institutions to restrict access to their payment systems to only established companies that present low risks,” the organization said.

‘No statutory authority’

Regulations on the financial industry have increased over the past few years, said Thomas P. Vartanian, chairman of Dechert LLP, a global law firm specializing in regulatory and financial matters.

He noted the chilling effect of overregulation by the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, an interagency behemoth that includes the departments of Commerce, Justice, Labor, Education, Homeland Security and Justice along with the Internal Revenue Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Secret Service, the FBI, the Social Security Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

“The key to effective regulation is the balancing between too little and too much regulation,” Mr. Vartanian said. “The problem here is that there are now so many regulators, including the Department of Justice, with their fingers on the scales on that balancing act.”

Congressional Republicans say the Obama administration is using its regulatory powers to shutter industries it doesn’t like. Last year, 31 Republicans accused the Justice Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. of intimidating banks and payment processors to “terminate business relationships with lawful lenders.”

In a March hearing before the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs subcommittee on consumer protection, Sen. David Vitter, Louisiana Republican, complained that several payday lenders — another industry labeled “risky” by the administration — were being dropped by their banks in his home state.

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