Republican AGs demand credit card companies drop plans to track gun sales

"Tracking this information can only result in its misuse, either unintentional or deliberate."

Updated: September 21, 2022 - 5:43pm

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Twenty-four Republican attorneys general have signed onto a letter demanding that major credit card companies abandon a plan to track private gun purchases made using their payment methods.

"The Second Amendment is a fundamental right, but it's also a fundamental American value. Our financial institutions should stop lending their market power to those who wish to attack that value," the Republicans wrote, according to the Epoch Times.

Visa, MasterCard and American Express announced earlier this month that they would begin tracking gun purchases, a move Republicans have warned may lead to infringements on the Second Amendment.

A key driver of the push is the Amalgamated Bank, a union bank, which has advocated for the creation of a new merchant category code (MCC) to monitor transactions involving guns.

"This code is the key to creating new tools that all financial institutions must now use to begin detecting and reporting suspicious activity associated with gun trafficking and mass shootings to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, the government agency charged with safeguarding the financial system from illicit use," the bank's website reads.

The Republican AGs warned the credit card companies that using an MCC to track gun purchases would result in some inevitably inaccurate flags.

"First, efforts to track and monitor sales at gun stores would only result in vague and misleading information. This categorization would not recognize the difference, for example, between the purchase of a gun safe and a firearm," they said.

The AGs further asserted that tracking that data would ensure its eventual abuse, saying, "More importantly, purposefully tracking this information can only result in its misuse, either unintentional or deliberate."