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Red States Fight Back Against Credit Card Tracking of Gun Purchases

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The anti-gunner lobby’s efforts remain in full swing, as it employs every strategy available to limit gun ownership in America. Luckily, those on the gun rights side of the conversation are fighting back tooth and nail. The Second Amendment might remain under threat, but it appears those protecting it are up to the task of frustrating the efforts of those who think only the government should have the right to keep and bear arms.

Earlier in 2023, major credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard, and others, announced that they would be adding a tracking code specifically to identify purchases of firearms and gun-related paraphernalia. The idea is supposedly to root out suspicious purchase of guns that could be used to commit violent crimes. But those who know better understand that this move is more about allowing the state to have a better way to keep an eye on American gun owners.

Fortunately, at least some Republican-led states such as Texas, Montana, North Dakota, Idaho, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Florida have passed laws banning the use of specialized tracking codes for firearm retailers, while Democratic senators have expressed support for the implementation of such codes to aid law enforcement in identifying potential mass shooters.

Texas became the most recent state to pass such legislation after Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2837, which prohibits the tracking of purchases made at firearm retailers:

The move makes Texas the biggest state to implement restrictions on the use of MCCs. It also represents a victory for gun-rights advocates and gun industry members who have been pushing back against the idea of trying to track, and potentially flag, certain kinds of gun purchases.

In May, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law a bill that also prohibits the tracking of gun sales. The legislation will levy fines on credit card companies found to have used the tracking code. They will be dinged up to $10,000 per offense.

When the aforementioned credit card companies announced that they would be adopting the new standard, the move was widely lauded by those in the anti-gunner lobby, who claimed this step would make it easier for law enforcement to stop mass shootings and other forms of gun violence. They still contend that this will somehow save lives despite no evidence backing up their claims.

However, critics like myself pointed out that financial institutions are already required to report suspicious transaction activity. Adding a new code would not make this any different. Instead, this will create a de facto gun registry that these companies could – and would – eagerly provide for the government in its efforts to target lawful gun owners.

Don’t think it could happen? Think again.

In March, it was revealed that Bank of America assisted the FBI in tracking transactions made by folks who were located near the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. They cross-referenced these transactions to identify people who were at the location and had also purchased a firearm in the past:

An FBI whistleblower told congressional investigators that the D.C. field office pushed local offices to open criminal investigations into Americans based solely on financial transactions Bank of America tracked and voluntarily provided to the bureau, according to testimony reviewed by The Federalist.

“Bank of America, with no directive from the FBI, datamined its customer base,” whistleblower and recently retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst George Hill told investigators for the House Judiciary Committee, according to Hill’s testimony.

The fact that Bank of America was willing to collude with the FBI to target Americans without even telling their customers what they were doing is a prime indicator of how little these companies care about our Second Amendment rights and, also, our privacy. In my opinion, these organizations won’t hesitate to sell you out to the feds, which is why more states need to prevent them from creating a gun registry for the government. We can’t count on blue states to follow suit, but there are plenty of flyover states whose residents might have a problem with companies collaborating with the government to violate our right to keep and bear arms.

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