The three major credit card companies adopted a new merchant category code for firearm sales the day after its introduction.
Visa, MasterCard and American Express announced they will implement the new guns and ammunition code created by the International Standards Organization Friday. Gun rights advocates fear the easier ability to track purchases of guns and ammo will lead to a dilution of Second Amendment rights.
Fox News further reported:
Payment processor Visa announced Saturday its plans to separately categorize gun shop sales, joining Mastercard and American Express, which have already said they would categorize purchases at firearm stores.
Visa said it would apply the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code to gun shop sales. The new IOS code was announced on Friday. Previously, gun store sales were labeled as “general merchandise.”
“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules,” Visa said in a statement.
The move by Visa signals a major victory for gun control advocates who argue that a separate category for gun store sales will help track suspicious quantities of firearm sales that could potentially lead to a mass shooting.
But gun rights advocates and gun lobbyists have said categorizing gun shop sales would be unfair to the industry given that most firearm sales do not result in mass shootings.
Visa, which acts as a middleman between merchants and banks, is the largest payment network. And with three major payment processors all electing to label gun store sales, there will now likely be pressure placed on banks as card issuers to decide if they will permit purchases categorized as gun shop sales on their issued cards.
New York City officials and pension funds had pushed the ISO and banks to adopt the new code on gun shop sales.
Two of the largest public pension funds in the U.S., which are located in California and New York, have put pressure on the country’s largest credit card companies to adopt separate sales codes for gun sales.
“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,” New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said.
Gun control advocates claim that the merchant code for standalone gun and ammunition retailers could curb gun violence. A week before the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the gunman purchased more than $26,000 worth of guns and ammunition using credit cards.
If credit card companies bow to anti-gun advocate pressure, the new code would allow them to refuse authorization for purchases with their card. Such thoughts arrive from considering the legal cannabis industry that struggles to find banks willing to accept their money.
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