Credit Card Companies To Soon Start Tracking Gun Purchases In California Using New Code

In the wake of a new California law, major credit card companies are about to implement a merchant code for firearm and ammunition retailers to track purchases.

This move, ostensibly aimed at curbing gun violence, has sparked controversy among Second Amendment advocates and conservative voices.

At the heart of this debate lies the question: are credit card companies making a mistake by complying with this push?

Mastercard, Visa, and American Express initially agreed to implement a standalone code for firearm sellers.

However, they later paused their work on it due to backlash from concerned citizens who believe it infringes upon their rights as legal gun owners.

Gun control activists argue that the code, approved by an international organization in 2022, can be used as a tool to help identify suspect purchases and prevent gun crime.

Proponents claim that the code would allow banks and credit unions to alert law enforcement of potentially suspicious purchasing patterns.

While a merchant code for standalone firearm and ammunition sellers would only indicate a transaction was made at a gun store, it would not provide details about the customer or individual items purchased.

Nevertheless, this has not stopped several Republican-controlled state legislatures from banning the code, with nine other legislatures considering similar legislation.

Meanwhile, deep blue California passed a law requiring retailers that primarily sell firearms to adopt the code by May 2025.

Last month, executives from Mastercard, Visa, and American Express each wrote to congressional Democrats, assuring them that the code would be available to retailers in California by that deadline.

The letters from credit card executives reflect the political minefield they find themselves in.

Mastercard executive Tucker Foote wrote, “The applicable standalone merchants in California primarily engaged in the sale of firearms will be required to utilize the code.” Visa senior vice president Robert B. Thomson III added, “Given the conflicting state laws on this topic and the likelihood that other states will enact legislation to either restrict or mandate the code, our implementation pause remains in effect.”

In contrast, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, stated, “It’s a start that credit card companies have committed to comply with the [merchant code] law in California, but we need implementation across the country if we’re going to do everything we can to prevent gun violence.”

This political tug-of-war raises several concerns. First and foremost, the implementation of a firearm merchant code is a slippery slope that could lead to the erosion of Second Amendment rights.

If the government can track gun purchases, it could potentially lead to a slippery slope of increased surveillance, and ultimately, the violation of constitutional rights.

Furthermore, the code’s potential to prevent gun violence is questionable at best.

Criminals often acquire firearms through illegal means, rendering the code ineffective in tracking their activities.

Instead, the code could lead to the stigmatization of law-abiding gun owners and the creation of a false sense of security.

Additionally, the credit card companies’ decision to comply with the California law could be a costly mistake.

As more states pass laws prohibiting the code, credit card companies may find themselves facing legal challenges and potential fines.

It would be more prudent for these companies to take a stand against this infringement on individual rights, rather than risk alienating a significant portion of their customer base.

Ultimately, the decision to implement a firearm merchant code is a dangerous one that could have far-reaching consequences for the rights of law-abiding gun owners.

It is crucial for credit card companies to weigh the potential risks and consequences before making a decision that could significantly impact the lives of millions of Americans.