Blog 3/07/24

Credit Card Companies Tracking Gun Purchases is a Slippery Slope

By: Mike Lowney | March 5, 2024 | The Orange County Register

Many Americans have resigned to the ubiquitous tracking of their daily movements and actions, whether it’s their daily step count, the route they take to work, or their internet browsing habits.  It seems a small price to pay for the value our smartphones and other devices provide us.  Technological advancements have made data a prized possession for companies to understand their customers better and, at times, for the government to monitor its citizens.

However, most people would acknowledge that there should be clear guardrails and limits on what data companies or the government should be able to collect, store, and track.  In California, there is a serious test of those guardrails on the horizon.

In recent days, the major credit card companies American Express, Visa, and Mastercard announced that they would begin requiring unique merchant category codes (MCC) for firearms and ammunition retailers across the state of California. This would allow them to track and gather information about their customers’ purchases, such as what items were bought, how much money was spent, and the date and time of purchase.

The credit card companies claim their hands are tied in California, citing compliance with a forthcoming state law mandating the monitoring of suspicious weapons purchases set to go into effect in 2025. However, gun control activists are pressuring them to implement it nationwide.

Proponents of forcing MCCs onto firearms retailers claim that it will help prevent mass shootings, but the evidence to support this claim is scarce.  In reality, it’s a form of boardroom gun control pushed by corporate executives, who are often pressured by anti-gun government officials, that would ultimately curb both the privacy and Second Amendment rights of Californians.

Read the full article from The Orange County Register HERE