Under pressure from anti-gun activists and state governments, the major credit card companies will now use a special code to designate purchases made at retailers that sell firearms and ammunition, ostensibly as a way to track and report suspicious transactions and prevent potential criminal activity like trafficking or mass shootings.
What it will also do is infringe upon the Second Amendment and privacy rights of American citizens, which is why all future purchases of guns and ammunition should be made with cash, according to Judge Andrew Napolitano of The Washington Times.
Cash purchases at gun stores would sidestep the new code for credit and debit cards and deny the companies the information that activist groups and governments hope to use as part of their broader anti-gun crusade.
New merchant code for gun stores
Axios reported that three major credit card companies — Visa, Mastercard, and American Express — all recently announced that they would adopt a new “merchant category code,” or MCC, for gun retailers that was introduced by the International Organization for Standardization, also known as the ISO.
The companies have defended the move as no big deal and likened the new code for gun stores to other special codes used to designate specific specialty retailers and have insisted that there are no nefarious motives behind the code and that it will not be used to interfere with lawful purchases.
Yet, a spokesperson for the National Shooting Sports Foundation told Axios the move “is flawed on its premise” and that it “chills the free exercise of Constitutionally protected rights and does nothing to assist law enforcement with crime prevention or holding criminals accountable.”
That, of course, is not what gun control activist groups say, such as Everytown for Gun Safety, as they have championed the new code as a way for banks and credit card companies to “more easily report dangerous and potentially illegal gun purchases to law enforcement.”
Code will not provide specific details of purchases
The reasoning behind this move, according to ABC News, is that because some mass shooters have used credit cards to finance the purchase of the guns and ammo used in their heinous crimes, the credit card companies should be more capable of spotting and reporting similar supposedly “suspicious” transactions.
The problem with that thinking, though, is that the new code will only show that “X” amount of dollars was spent at a gun retailer but won’t provide the specific details of what was actually purchased.
As Napolitano explained it for the Times, “If you buy a $2,000 gun safe or $2,000 in gun safety lessons or $2,000 in guns and ammunition at a gun shop, the credit card companies’ lists will just show a $2,000 gun shop purchase. They will not show the item acquired.”
Use cash instead of cards
“This is just the latest attempt by anti-gun lunatic activists to pressure corporations into collecting their own business partners’ data in a way that threatens their privacy, as well as the privacy of the millions of customers who rely on these services for electronic transactions each year,” Erich Pratt, senior vice president of Gun Owners of America, said in a statement. “Make no mistake, if the credit card companies were willing to so quickly cave on this demand, the mob will only demand more, leading us down a dark path where guns and ammo transactions, which are protected by the Second Amendment, are frequently halted and consistently flagged for the authorities.”
Unless and until this new code is walked back by the credit card companies, or legislation is put in place that firmly limits the use of the new code, gun owners should simply bypass this ominous anti-gun effort to track and report firearm and ammunition purchases by using cash instead of cards.