Major Credit Cards Are Rethinking Tracking Gun Purchases

P. Gardner Goldsmith | March 13, 2023
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New developments in a gun-rights story that began last fall appear to indicate that public outcry is having a salutary effect on at least some credit card corporations when it comes to whether they will collect gun shop purchase data that anti-gun political figures have sought for them to obtain and store.

In September, we reported that the International Organization for Standardization (IOS), a Geneva-based non-profit started in 1947 (in which representatives from over 150 nation-states’ “standards” bureaucracies set “standards” for numerous commercial measurements other than electronics and electrics-related products), had established a code for gun shops. Any purchase at such a shop could, if the credit card companies wanted to apply it, establish a permanent record of said purchase. And this appeared to be something highly desired by gun-grabbers such as New York City Comptroller Brad Lander.

As we reported at the time, Mr. Lander not only lobbied for the codes, but used his control of approximately $1 billion in public employee pensions that are invested in the credit card companies to push said companies to adopt the codes. His implication was that if the corporations didn’t use the codes, he would pull the investments in those corporations.

Landers and New York Mayor Eric Adams implied that the New York government would, somehow, get the codes, and use them to engage in gun grabs – without any attention paid to the Second Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Fifth Amendment, Sixth Amendment, or Eighth Amendment.

Related: Discover Becomes First Credit Card Corp To Track Gun Purchases | MRCTV

In February, I reported that Discover Card announced it would be the first to institute the code.

But now, the other major credit card companies are taking a different tack on the privacy-invading, gun-snooper, socialist sea.

Ross Kerber reports for Reuters:

“Top payment networks including American Express Co, Mastercard Inc and Visa Inc said on Thursday they have paused work on implementing a new sales code for gun merchants, citing Republican pushback in various U.S. states on concerns about improper tracking of consumer behavior.”

Kerber also noted that several GOP-sponsored bills in numerous states would forbid the credit card companies from using the codes for gun shop buys, and this has led to the corporations changing their initial approach.

“A Mastercard representative said on Thursday via email that such bills would cause ‘inconsistency’ in how the code could be applied by merchants, banks and payment networks.

‘It’s for that reason that we have decided to pause work on the implementation of the firearms-specific MCC (Merchant Category Code),’ said the Mastercard representative, Seth Eisen.

American Express and Visa representatives also cited state bills as driving their decisions.”

And, in a surprising move, the rulers of Discover are reversing course.

“Discover Financial Services said in an emailed statement it was removing the new code from its next network update planned for April ‘to continue alignment and interoperability with the industry.’”

And, despite gun-grabbers simultaneously claiming that the application of the codes would not put gun-buyers into additional databanks beyond the already unconstitutional National Instant Background Checks System (NICS) -- which recently was revealed to have stored information when Americans were told the opposite – at the same time that they claim the credit card codes would curb “gun violence”, logical people can see through the smoke and remember that criminally-minded people will not bother having their gun purchases recorded in a databank.

They will get the weapons on the black and gray markets. The codes are for peacefully-minded people. And that term “peacefully-minded” does not include agents of the state, on any level.

The state is the largest, most deadly mechanism of violence ever created by man, and this one instance – in which businesses that the government has granted “corporate” status and which have been threatened by government bureaucrats like Landers, have changed their directions?

It’s important to watch, because the agents of state aggression never tire, and the offices they occupy rarely decrease in number and their areas of dominion.

Related: VISA, American Express, MasterCard Will Begin Denoting Gun Sales In Their Own Records Category – Why? | MRCTV