Senate Republicans demand credit card companies reverse decision to track gun store sales

Senate Republicans are urging major credit card companies to reverse a decision to separately classify gun store purchases.

Roger Marshall, Kansas, is leading a group of 12 GOP senators demanding that the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and American Express scrap plans to track gun store sales. The companies recently announced that they would be implementing the International Organization for Standardization’s new Merchant Category Code for gun shop sales. Transactions at firearm shops were previously labeled as “general merchandise”.

In a letter obtained exclusively by Fox Business, Republican lawmakers argue that compliance with the Merchant Code could open a backdoor gun control registry affecting law-abiding firearm owners.

“This decision, which is already being welcomed by radical anti-gun activists, is the first step toward backdoor gun control on law-abiding Americans,” the senators wrote to the CEO. “Any change that attempts to affect the ability of a United States citizen to legally purchase a firearm is not related to payment networks, international standard setting organizations, or financial institutions that serve some of you.” Huh.”

Visa, Mastercard, Amex to classify gun store sales separately

Roger Marshall, Kansas, is leading a group of 12 GOP senators demanding that the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and American Express scrap plans to track gun store sales. (Getty Images)

Merchant category codes are not exclusive to gun store sales, as codes exist for almost every type of purchase, including supermarkets, clothing stores, coffee shops and other retailers,

But the codes only label the type of merchant where the credit or debit card is used, not the specific item. This means that an item like a gun, for example, may be marked as a great purchase at a gun store because one can be purchased for thousands of dollars.

The Republican wrote, “Due to the nature of information collected from merchants when processing transactions, you will have no ability to know what is being purchased; as such, to detect suspicious purchases with perceived profit margins.” falls short on value.” “Given that, it is clear that these changes are being pushed for a lot of nefarious reasons, and are probably only a step forward with calls to completely curtail gun sales in the near future.”

As per the letter, ISO is a voluntary organization which cannot unilaterally determine the way of doing business.

“To be completely clear, your hand is not being forced,” the lawmakers wrote. “Creating a new merchant code for gun transactions is a choice each of your companies is making. You are favoring gun control advocates over privacy and the Second Amendment rights of millions of law-abiding Americans. “

“You are choosing to engage yourself in this political debate – which should only be fought at the ballot box and in Congress – and in doing so you are making clear that you are more than just fair network operators who maximize value for their customers and shareholders. You want to become an Antigan activist yourself, intentionally or not,” he continued.

House Republicans Seek Answers as Credit Card Companies Pressured to Track Gun Purchases

multiple credit cards

Credit card companies recently announced that they would be implementing the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for gun shop sales. Transactions at firearm shops were previously labeled as “general merchandise”. (iStock)

Republicans told CEOs that Congress would have no choice but to intervene on behalf of law-abiding American gun owners if their companies insisted on tracking gun store sales.

The senators sought answers from credit card companies on a number of issues surrounding the new labeling of gun store purchases, including their understanding of the ISO process, what input they gave to ISO, coordination with external entities such as activist organizations or politicians, how The information will be used to prevent the sale of suspicious firearms and how to ensure the financial privacy of law-abiding customers.

Gun control activists have argued that a separate category for sale at gun stores would help track suspicious amounts of firearm sales that could potentially lead to mass shootings. A week before the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the gunman purchased more than $26,000 worth of guns and ammunition using a credit card.

Iso and banks were pressured by New York City officials to adopt a new code on gun store sales.

gun sales

Smith and Wesson handguns are displayed during the NRA Annual Meeting and Exhibit at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center on May 5, 2018 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/Getty Images)

New York State Attorney General Letitia James said in a recent tweet, “These credit card companies must now take the next step and flag suspicious transactions on gun and ammunition sales like they do for fraud and money laundering.” Huh.” “By working together and using the tools at our disposal, we will help protect our communities and save lives.”

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The senators’ letter comes just days after House Republicans sent a similar request for answers to credit card companies tracking gun store sales.

Members of the House wrote at the time, “A gun control advocate may view any desire or desire to obtain a gun suspiciously.” “Instead, it is a transparent attempt to pacify the exercise of constitutionally protected rights and circumvent existing legal restrictions on the creation of firearm registries by the government.”

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