Credit card companies Visa, Mastercard, and American Express have all revealed intentions this week to give out their customers’ purchases at gun retailers. This comes in response to increasing lobbying from lawmakers and anti-gun activists.
Credit card issuers will now classify all purchases made at gun ammo outlets, whether or not they involve firearms, using a new four-digit merchant class code.
Credit card firms have a policy of notifying local authorities if they feel any of their customers’ purchases are fraudulent.
The plan to separately categorize sales at gun shops is WORSE than a federal registry. Visa WARNED that it asks payment networks to decide "which legal goods can or cannot be purchased." So who pressured Visa/Mastercard/AmEx to go along with it? Govt? Banks? Or both? pic.twitter.com/6llOaMfxD7
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) September 12, 2022
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), well-known for defining rules for western commercial transactions, accepted the modification addressing gun store sales on Friday.
On Saturday, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express embraced the new norms.
The ISO made the decision after anti-gun activists and Democratic lawmakers, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren, started demanding financial CEOs keep an eye out for nefarious purchases that might be used in domestic terrorist acts or arms trafficking ploys.
These purchases include straw purchases and illegal bulk.
NEW YORK (AP) — Payment processor Visa to start categorizing sales at gun store, a win for gun control advocates.
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) September 11, 2022
Warren claimed in her article that mass murderers frequently use credit cards to pay for their atrocities.
As a result, she called on the CEOs of financial institutions to do something to prevent other lives from being lost.
Warren said by implementing this new code, banking firms and payment networks like Mastercard, Visa, and American Express could and should do all they can to aid law enforcement in preventing some mass shootings.
Amalgamated Bank President and CEO Priscilla Sims Brown insisted on financial institutions monitoring the firearm industry via merchant category codes even before Democrats decided to compel credit card corporations into doing their bidding on guns.
Recommendations from Mastercard, Visa, and American Express led the ISO to reject her initial appeal in June 2021.
However, given the close relationship between the ISO and Amalgamated Bank, the greatest union-owned bank in the United States, it was not surprising the ISO decided to adopt the new guidelines.
More Effective Steps
Academic research reveals interrupting the sale of illegal items through the payment networks of Visa, Mastercard, and their associate banks is more effective than court proceedings.
This was noted by Federalist Senior Legal Correspondent Margot Cleveland in her prior coverage of Mastercard and Visa. Visa and Mastercard both have the ability to “penalize banks” that conduct business with what they deem questionable or unlawful organizations.
Involving credit card firms in the left’s campaign to crackdown on gun buyers and sellers was therefore hailed as a “major success” by Democrats outside Congress, such as New York Attorney General Letitia James.
The National Rifle Association and other gun rights activists criticized the credit card companies for giving in to Democrats’ and banks’ efforts to restrict the legal firearms trade in America.
The National Rifle Association released a statement over the weekend, saying the ISO’s decision to develop a firearm-specific code is nothing more than a surrender to anti-gun legislators and activists.
These people are working to erode the rights of law-abiding Americans, one purchase at a time. The goal here is to create a national registry of gun owners, not any desire to detect crime, prevent crime, or for any other altruistic reason.