Payment giants to track gun store sales — Analysis
Visa Mastercard and American Express have announced that they will use a different merchant code to allow firearm retailers.
Three major payment processing companies – Visa, Mastercard and American Express – have announced they will put all gun shop sales into a separate category of purchases from now on. This move was criticized by gun rights activists.
Visa – the world’s largest payments processor – was the last to announce its decision on Saturday. Mastercard, American Express and others had already indicated they were going to use the new code.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) – a Swiss-based body – announced its decision to introduce a new “merchant category code”Freitag
Up to Friday, sales of guns in gun stores were classified as “general merchandise.”Amalgamated Bank in New York requested that the bank make this move.
Advocates of stricter gun regulations have long demanded this measure, who claim it will make it easier to track suspect weapons purchases. Banks and payment processors will be able to issue a new code to gunseller payments. But it won’t show the specific item purchased. This code won’t cover purchases of guns made outside of certain arms retailers.
“When you buy an airline ticket or pay for your groceries, your credit card company has a special code for those retailers. It’s just common sense that we have the same policies in place for gun and ammunition stores,”Eric Adams, the mayor of New York City was himself an ex-police officer.
New system will be “an important step towards ending financial system support for gun trafficking, gun violence, and domestic terrorism,”A letter was written by Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Madeleine Dean, both Democrats from Massachusetts. It was signed in part by several other American legislators.
Gun advocates were furious, though.
“This is not about tracking or prevention or any virtuous motivation – it’s about creating a national registry of gun owners,”On Sunday, the National Rifle Association said. Lars Dalseide the spokesperson for NRA, described it as “ludicrous.” “nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time.”
In August, anti-gun lobbyists from GunsDownAmerica and Giffords called on credit card companies to flag legal purchases of guns and ammunition as suspicious, demanding a separate merchant category code for standalone arms retailers.
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