Unable to pass a national gun registry, gun grabbers are trying something a little different:
Credit card companies now can track gun and ammunition sales in the U.S. and report suspicious transactions to law enforcement, according to a major commerce board.
A handful of Wyoming gun dealers told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that they don’t expect the ROnew measure to hurt business.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on Friday announced that gun dealers’ business transactions now will bear a specific code in credit card transactions, Reuters reported. While there are many different merchant codes in credit card transactions, the companies previously categorized gun sales under a more generic “sporting goods” or “miscellaneous” category.
[…]“There’s never been a specific code for guns and ammo before,” said John Brazzale, owner of Johnny’s Gunworks in Cheyenne. Brazzale said the new private-sector tracking measure could easily be turned over to the government, if credit card companies decide to do so.
“If credit card companies allow the government to use (their) searchable database, they’ll (the government) know who’s buying guns and ammo,” he said.[…]
Clarification: they’ll know who went about it LEGALLY and PROPERLY. (How many scumbag crooks do that?)
[…] But Brazzale didn’t expect the measure to hurt his business, he said.
“Most of my business is cash anyway. Credit card sales are a pain in my business, because (many) people that run the credit card industry don’t care for guns,” he said, adding that he also conducts business on the Internet.
Online third-party payment companies Paypal and Square won’t facilitate gun purchases.[…]
Connor Bailey, firearm seller at Wind River Outdoor Company in Lander, also didn’t expect business to slow down as major credit card companies adopt the new gun code.
Bailey said most gun customers know exactly which gun they want before they’re in the store, and they will budget for it. Many pay cash – as does Bailey, when he buys a gun.
But Bailey said going forward, he feels compelled to tell customers that their purchases could be specifically flagged as gun purchases by their credit card companies.
“I would definitely let them know,” he said, adding that many firearms enthusiasts have already been hesitant to involve credit card companies for a while.
Marla Lemm, owner at The Good Place, another Lander sporting goods store, said adopting a new code isn’t going to be enough to deter Wyomingites from buying guns.
“If somebody wants to buy a gun they’ll buy a gun,” said Lemm. “It’s not the first time some group has decided they have to keep track of who’s buying what.”[…]
The new code will soon be adopted by major credit card companies American Express, Mastercard, and Visa, the companies announced last week.
American Express told CBS that this is just another of many specific codes “that help us understand the industries in which our merchants operate.
“We are focused on ensuring that we have the right controls in place to meet our regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities,” the company continued, “as well as prevent illegal activity on our network.”
This summer, however, Visa, Mastercard and American Express all countered the International Operating Standards board’s efforts, according to CBS News.
Mastercard told CNBC in July that stopping gun violence is an issue that should be tackled, rather, by elected officials.
Visa in a letter to members of Congress said the movement’s chief advocate, Amalgamated Bank, of New York, wanted the code so it could shut down gun sales.
“We understood Amalgamated Bank’s request to be justified, at least in part, by an interest in blocking transactions that would fall under such a new category, and Visa’s rules expressly prohibit blocking of legal transactions under (a code),” the company said.
Amalgamated Bank’s president said in a statement Friday the bank was proud of the new code, but would not use it to shut down “legal gun sales.”
“We all have to do our part to stop gun violence,” said Priscilla Sims Brown, President and CEO of Amalgamated Bank. “And it sometimes starts with illegal purchases of guns and ammunition. The new code will allow us to fully comply with our duty to report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales to authorities without blocking or impeding legal gun sales. This action answers the call of millions of Americans who want safety from gun violence and we are proud to have led the broad coalition of advocates, shareholders, and elected officials that achieved this historic outcome.”[…]
Legal experts suggest this policy move could put a crimp in privacy rights:
[…] There’s nothing overtly illegal or unconstitutional about using a new code for gun sellers, said George Mocsary, law professor at the University of Wyoming and Second-Amendment expert.
However, the code could put society on a tipping point with respect to firearms and privacy rights, he said.
“Where legal issues might come into play, is if the banks or credit card companies stopped allowing their cardholders to make purchases from gun stores,” said Mocsary. “That would be a problem.”
Banks, he said, are specially protected and permitted by the government, and therefore are in a separate category from other private businesses.
“It could be perfectly acceptable for private parties to decide who they do business with,” said Mocsary. “But when it comes to being licensed by the government and having this special space carved out for you via regulation, then it can become a (constitutional) problem.”
Mocsary said he would recommend that gun buyers use cash in firearms purchases.
He also was concerned that the term “suspicious” has not yet been defined with respect to the new code, adding that if large expenditures are the only criteria of a “suspicious” sale, then a lot of gun sales could be flagged – because many guns are expensive.
What do you want to bet that a system will soon be enacted allowing government bodies to ‘decline’ your card if you try to by “too much” ammo or “too many guns” or “the wrong kind” of guns?
Terms And Use
Mocsary said his other recommendation to gun buyers and credit card customers is to check their credit-card companies’ terms and use agreements.
While typically law enforcement agencies such as the FBI would obtain a warrant to access credit card records, a company could impose a terms and use agreement on its customers that allows law enforcement access without a warrant, said Mocsary.
This also happens with other kinds of information.
“I knew someone who worked at a federal agency… and when they wanted emails from Google they’d just send a letter to Google and get an email if they wanted it – very quickly,” he said. “They didn’t have to go through a warrant.”
Businesses may stipulate that customers’ records shall be open to government searches because, said Mocsary, “no business wants to be in the government’s crosshairs.” […]