You may have heard that the International Standards Organization (ISO) recently established a merchant code for firearms. This way, gun stores will have their own merchant code instead of having a miscellaneous one or being listed under hunting supplies.
There’s a downside to the distinguishable merchant code, though. Anyone buying firearms with a credit card can have their transaction tracked. The credit card companies and even the government can find out who is buying firearms, where, and how much is being spent.
This is an invasion of privacy, and you better believe that the GOP is all over it.
Republican attorneys general across 23 states wrote a letter recently to warn credit card companies not to start tracking purchases at gun stores around the United States.
The letter was sent to some of the giants including MasterCard, Visa, and American Express. It argues that the data will likely be misused and Americans won’t be safer for it.
The Wall Street Journal has already reported that the credit card companies have stated that the new policy won’t prevent gun purchases from taking place. Instead, it will create a database of the purchases.
Senate Republicans have also written a letter to the credit card companies. While slightly different, it shows that there is a concern – and argued that the companies may actually be overstepping their authority.
After all, isn’t the job of a credit card company to simply provide the financial backing for purchases? They shouldn’t be concerning themselves with what people are buying – rather just ensuring that they have the financial means to buy.
12 GOP senators were involved in writing the letter, which was led by Senator Roger Marshall (R-Kans.).
The senators addressed the CEOs of the credit card companies. “This decision, which is already being hailed by radical anti-gun activists, is the first step towards backdoor gun control on law-abiding Americans. Any change that seeks to impact a United States citizen’s ability to legally purchase a firearm belongs with Congress, not payment networks, international standard-setting organizations, or the financial institutions that some of you serve.”
Of course, the senators are right. There should be no reason to hinder a person’s ability to buy a gun.
As the senators warn, the credit card companies are choosing to be a part of a political debate. It is not for the credit card companies to decide. We are a part of a democracy and, therefore, the decision should be made at the ballot boxes and in Congress.”
There are Democrats who are all for these changes. NYC Mayor Eric Adams calls it a “common sense” law so that it’s easier to investigate suspicious gun purchases.
Believing that it will change anything is ridiculous. Those who plan to purchase with the intent of malicious behavior will simply purchase with cash – thus eliminating the database and the ability for their purchase to be tracked.
Threats have been made by Republicans in Congress that if the credit card companies move forward, action will be taken. And should the GOP gain control of the House and/or Senate after the midterms, the threat is likely to be carried through.
At this point, we have to wait and see what will happen once the credit card companies review the various letters. Hopefully, they’ll decide not to partake in the political battle by circumventing Congress.