Second Amendment advocacy organizations slam major credit card companies’ plan to single out gun purchases at payment processors, saying it’s a step toward a database of owners weapons in the United States.
Visa Inc. announced over the weekend that it would begin categorizing sales at gun stores, joining Mastercard and American Express. Gun control advocates say the category will better track suspicious sales that could lead to mass shootings.
Visa said it would adopt the new International Organization for Standardization merchant code for sales at gun stores. Until Friday, gun store sales were considered “general merchandise.”
The National Rifle Association called the action a “capitulation” to gun control groups.
“ISO’s decision to create a gun-specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to politicians and anti-gun activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans, a transaction to It’s not about tracking or prevention or virtuous motivation – it’s about creating a national registry of gun owners,” NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said.
“With just a few keystrokes, this new code creates a list of people who have purchased firearms, ammunition and firearm-related accessories – that’s the very definition of a registry. This is an attempt to outsource the creation of a registry of gun owners, which the federal government is not allowed to do.
Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, called the financial institutions’ action “the latest attempt by crazed anti-gun activists to pressure companies to collect data from their own business partners in a way that also threatens their privacy”. like the privacy of the millions of customers who rely on these services for electronic transactions each year.
He predicted that the data would not stay with the credit card companies.
“Make no mistake, if the credit card companies were willing to give in to this demand so quickly, the mob will only demand more, leading us down a dark path where gun and ammunition transactions , which are protected by the Second Amendment, are frequently interrupted and constantly reported to authorities,” he said.
Second Amendment Foundation executive vice president Alan Gottlieb said in a statement that this is “another attempt to disrupt and demonize people who buy guns and ammunition by violating the right to privacy and creating a database of gun owners”.
The move by major payment processors could also affect legal online gun sales, Gottlieb said.
“This is done to hurt online sales. Guns.com and gunbroker.com and others are targets,” he said. “The gun prohibition lobby wants to stop all internet sales even though guns must be delivered by local dealers with background checks.”
Mr. Gottlieb noted that online gun sales require payment by credit card because PayPal and other online payment processors prohibit the use of their services to purchase guns.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, has called ISO approval to create merchant category codes for purchases of “imperfect” firearms and ammunition.
“Authorities calling for these codes say it will help law enforcement uncover suspicious purchases without specific criteria to define what would be considered suspicious,” foundation spokesman Mark Oliva said in a statement. communicated.
“Adding specific codes to gun and ammunition purchases casts a dark shadow over gun control advocates who are only interested in disarming legitimate gun owners,” he said. declared.
Mr. Oliva said the ultimate goal of those advocating for the enforcement of the codes is to deny purchases of firearms and ammunition through the use of credit cards.
Some porn businesses had to close because private sellers refused to process the transactions due to political-moral pressures.
Gun control advocates hailed the move by Visa and other major financial institutions.
“Today’s announcement is a crucial first step in giving banks and credit card companies the tools they need to recognize dangerous gun buying trends – like a domestic extremist who built an armory – and report them to law enforcement,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown. for gun safety.
Still, he said his band wanted more.
“This is just the first step. It is now vital that merchants and banks implement this code quickly before more weapons end up in the wrong hands,” he said.
Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, welcomed the move and called on all financial entities to report gun-related purchases.
“It takes all of us to fight our epidemic of gun violence, which is why we are grateful for the leadership of Amalgamated Bank in this effort and call on all other banks and financial institutions to follow suit,” she said. declared.
Amalgamated Bank was one of the leaders in the campaign for the new codes.