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Tennessee lawmakers move to stop banks from tracking gun and ammo purchases

Second Amendment groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and National Shooting Sports Foundation also came out in opposition to this. 

Published: January 17, 2024 1:23pm

Updated: January 17, 2024 1:26pm

Tennessee state GOP lawmakers proposed legislation Wednesday to stop banks and credit cards from tracking the sales of ammo and gun purchases. 

GOP state Rep. Todd Warner and state Sen. Joey Hensley have proposed companion legislation in their respective chambers stating a financial institution requiring a firearms retailer to use firearms-specific transaction codes is an "unfair or deceptive trade practice."

According to the Tennessee Star, financial institutions have created a new credit card merchant category code for the buying of ammunition and guns in order to help identify dangerous gun owners or questionable transactions.

The process began in 2022 after New York Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Rob Bonta, both Democrats, sent letters to executives of credit card companies such as Mastercard and Visa requesting they support the new merchant code. 

The initiative was paused in March of 2023 when payment companies halted their plans to support the codes after similar legislation to stop the tracking of ammo and guns passed in red states such as Oklahoma, Texas, Florida and West Virginia.

Second Amendment groups such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) and National Shooting Sports Foundation came out in opposition to this. 

"This is not about tracking or prevention or any virtuous motivation — it's about creating a national registry of gun owners," NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said in an email to CBS MoneyWatch in 2022.

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