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The pushback against Amalgamated Bank CEO Priscilla Sims Brown’s plan began almost as soon as she started to seriously push for a new merchant category code for gun retailer transactions. And when she finally managed to mau-mau the International Standards Organization into approving her gun purchase tracking tool, parties like the NSSF, various state Attorneys General, along with state and federal legislators kicked into high gear.

Brown and the credit card companies said it was all part of wanting to monitor “suspicious activity.” The fact that use of the code would chill lawful gun sales while resulting in inaccurate Suspicious Activity Reports to federal regulators was just a price we’d all have to pay for more “safety.”

Today, however, Bloomberg (heh) reports that the all of the heat and political pressure applied to the credit card companies is paying off.

Visa Inc. and Mastercard Inc. have decided to pause implementing a plan that activists had hoped would track firearm sales and help curve gun violence. 

The payment giants – along with Discover Financial Services – are delaying the work after a series of bills in the state legislatures targeted the International  Organization for Standardization’s new merchant category code. The MCC was created to be used when processing transactions for gun and ammunition stores. 

It seems the credit card companies didn’t relish the prospect of new state and federal legislation impinging on their business practices as a result of the targeting of gun buyers.

“There are bills advancing in serval states related to the use of this new code,” a spokesman for Mastercard said in a statement Thursday. If passed, the proposals would create an “inconsistency” in how the code is applied by merchants and others, he said. “It’s for that reason that we have decided to pause work on the implementation of the firearms-specific MCC.”

Uh huh. It’s all just a technical mess. And then there are those unfortunate “inconsistencies.”

To hear them tell it, the “pause” in implementation has nothing at all to do with a group of red state Attorneys General demanding the companies nuke the new code. Never mind the bills already introduced in a handful of states (so far) and the US House that would prohibit use of the new code.

Visa also took a pause because of the “significant confusion and legal uncertainty” the legislative proposals have created, according to a spokesman. …

In a statement, Discover said it’s removing the MCC as well, “to continue alignment and interoperability with the industry.”

Translation: the whole idea of sucking up to the anti-gun left by tracking and reporting “suspicious” gun purchases — while violating individuals’ privacy rights — became too hot, too politically risky, and possibly very costly.

We talked to Montana AG Austin Knudsen today. He attributes the companies’ about face (at least for now) to a combination of the pressure brought by the AGs and the bills now pending in state legislatures and the US House.

Knudsen tells TTAG he’s expressed his displeasure over gun transaction tracking in direct meetings with both Visa and Mastercard. A member of his staff has also met with Discover, which had gotten off to a running start using the new code. He says he’s sure he’s not the only AG to have applied that kind of direct pressure, either.

As you can imagine, the gun control industry isn’t happy about the news. But a line from the AGs’ missive to the credit card companies pegged the scheme for exactly what it is . . .

“Activists pressured the ISO to adopt this policy as a means of circumventing and undermining the American legislative process. The new merchant category code will chill the exercise of a constitutional right without any concomitant benefit.”

Exactly. It was always a way of privatizing gun control through the tracking, reporting, and harassment of lawful gun owners in ways the Civilian Disarmament Industrial Complex knows they can’t get done through Congress…much the same as they’ve tried to do by pressuring shipping companies to harass FFLs, parts retailers, and manufacturers.

Same as it ever was.


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    • Exactly. I sure wish I could believe them. Online firearm and ammunition availability and pricing is SO much better than anything local brick and mortar..especially ammunition.

  1. Corporations working with government to subjugate the citizenry.
    Must be the new definition for democracy. Why not? They’re re-defining, re-writing, filtering and redacting everything anyway.

    • Nailed it is correct!
      I just messaged Discovered Card that all my auto charges will be terminated and I’ll discontinue use of the DC until they stop their plans of reporting my purchases to the government. They did respond and said it was still up in the air and being reviewed. I followed with “To hell with it, I’ll pay cash. The government does not need to know what snow, fishing and winter equipment I’m buying.” Then logged off.

      • “They did respond and said it was still up in the air and being reviewed.”

        Message back saying until the answer is no, you’re dumping them… 🙁

  2. There are still idiots out there who think nobody will discover what they’re doing…..or they’re too big to fail!? They need to understand WE are the majority!

    • Cash is the American way.
      Cash use it every day
      Cash comes in a beautiful green color
      Cash is easy to the touch
      and best of all it transfers easily.

      From a Bob and Ray comedy dialogue.

  3. There’s some good news 🙂 Glad to hear that concerned citizens and SOME of their elected leaders are working hard to make sure that more of our rights are not flushed down the toilet. On another note, it’s tough to see (some) our alleged Conservative leaders line up to hurt the people that elected them on a number of issues. Term limits are needed, but will probably never happen. Mitch McConell needs to go along with all the leaders who are doing the opposite of what they were elected to do. Country headed in the wrong direction at 200 mph (just my opinion).

  4. “Standards Organization for Standardization”

    They actually created a Department of Redundancy Department?!

  5. Credit card companies make three percent from every sale, millions of gun buyers (estimated at 16 million in 2022) stop using credit cards they lose millions of dollars… Using $500 as an average price that’s about 240 million in annual revenue just from guns (not including parts accessories and ammo)…

  6. I had ideas about hacking the system. What if everything sold at WalMart had that code on it? Virtually everyone in America would become a gun owner in less than a year. Bag of candy – gun. Package of seeds – gun. School supplies – gun. Cell phone – gun. Prepaid debit car – gun. Think of it, everything in the grocery aisles, sporting goods, tools, greeting cards, candles, you name it. Just think of it – MILLIONS of new gun owners!!

    Alas, I have zero idea how to hack the system.

    • That wouldn’t work. Items aren’t coded, businesses are. So when you apply to have the ability to take credit cards, you are assigned a code based on what type business you are. Fast food places have a code, regular restaurants have a code, hardware stores, etc. Even brothels. If I remember correctly, there was 2 codes for brothels in 2005. We didn’t have any under that code though, however there was a massage parlor in Arizona with a mail order business code that processed multiple $600-$1000 transactions that showed as swiped (Ie the card was run through the reader, not just having the # typed in). Anyway, so whatever you buy at a business will have that code to it. So if it’s hardware, then it’s all considered hardware, even if they have a cafe counter with hot sandwiches. And when the charge is run, all it does is get an approval for the total amount, there’s nothing about what you bought, how many or anything.

      • “That wouldn’t work. Items aren’t coded, businesses are. So when you apply to have the ability to take credit cards, you are assigned a code based on what type business you are.”

        Sporting goods. 🙂

  7. Cash. The government and the banks hate it. Things with intrinsic value after that. Plastic last.

  8. They’re going to “pause implementing a plan.” That means it’s coming back ASAP. We just weren’t “ready” for it yet. They’ll prime us a little more first.

    • They are “pausing” the plan, Dude, until they think gun owners have forgotten about it. And then, they will quietly implement it right under our noses when they think we are not watching them. Maybe they will wait until some false flag event comes around, or a major war starts etc. to get everyone’s attention diverted, and then start the process then.

  9. “Same as it ever was…”.
    Was that a purposeful quote from the Talking Head’s Once On A Lifetime song? If so, that was a great reference.

  10. I recommend anyone buying a gun on credit use Capital One. They are not participating in this “gun registration” ploy.

    • Capitol One is not a card processor, they are a financial institution. Your Capitol One card, like for instance a Cabela’s card, has the Mastercard logo in the corner. So Capitol One is the bank, and Mastercard is the card processor.
      Which brings me to a question I have been researching. According to some information I have found on the “Suspicious Activity Report” description, it is the financial institution that makes the SAR report. No where have I seen that the card processor makes the report. So, in my Cabela’s example above, and what WEB III is saying, it would be Capitol One, not Mastercard that would make the report. If Capitol One decides not to make reports on the Gun store MCC, that is their choice.
      Can someone verify that? That would make selecting a credit card financial institution that will not make reports easier. Otherwise all 4 card processors start using the code and we are screwed.

      • Mike B in WI Here is the Master CArd “Quick Reference Guide”. I searched for a “Gun store MCC” and came up with none.

        For VISA: I did the same search and there is NONE.

        It is the BANKS that are doing the “reporting” not VISA or MASTERCARD.

    • Matt, they just “paused” which is a stop until further advancement can be figured out.
      Time will tell if the pause is permanent.

  11. They -paused- the new one because the old one still works.,,,
    They speak to us in riddles
    They speak to us though lies
    Never do they truly succeed
    Not to our opened eyes

  12. Anything on American Express. I assume them also but name was not given so so not want to assume.


  13. Buy local. Pay cash. Build.

    Problem solved.

    Might not be the solution in tyrant states, but then again, at this point you have only yourself to blame for staying in those states like it’s ever going to change or get better without a mass violent revolution.

    I’m not trying to act like I do everything “undetectable” but there are ways.
    VPN – and not the kind you pay monthly for that only hide certain things from the ISP
    Throw away phone/email etc etc
    Browse local gun sale sites
    In my state, you don’t need ANY documentation. If someone wants to create a bill of sale, that is their choice but if we are remaining untraceable, why would you buy from them?
    Also, 3D printer goes brrr
    I know more than a handful of people that print lowers.

    “ghost gun” shopping for the win. As it should be for EVERYONE. Untraceable.

  14. BS. Where is the list of maxist CC Companies that signed on to this BS. CANCEL the basta rds

  15. Well, we all know that gangs get their guns online using credit cards leaving a paper trail a mile long, so what’s the problem?

    Gun control only works on the law abiding.

  16. “…help curve gun violence.”

    “Curve?” I had heard rumors that Bloomberg was a professional journalism organization. The rumors were false.

  17. DOJ and FBI did a study years ago asking criminals convicted of gun crimes about the sources of their guns.

    Over 80% of them were stolen or smuggled. Unless banks and credit card companies are processing transactions for cartels and street dealers, these companies would never know about these transactions.

    Any system that monitors and tracks legal transactions is intended to do one thing – create a proxy gun registry of legal gun owners.

  18. Give us as customers some credit for shutting this down with Discover. The first thing I did was write to them to ask whether or not they were proceeding with utilization of the new code. It may be no surprise, but they did not answer me, however, I believe that many people like me raised concerns over this issue. So I guess management at Discover is smart enough to realize that their customers do have a voice. Many thanks to everyone who participated in this venture to stop the insanity.

  19. The antis who pushed for the MCC know as little about business and credit cards as they do about firearms. The while scheme was proposed by a journalist, who really know nothing. A firearms MCC wouldn’t have worked the way they thought it would. Besides not knowing what was purchased, the card processors (not credit card companies or issuers) are the ones to assign the MCC to a business, and business that didn’t want the new code could either ask for a different one or pick a different processor if the processor insisted on the firearms code.

  20. They are just going to implement this new MCC codes anyway. It is just a delay. Criminals do not used credit cards to purchase their firearms and ammo. Do these credit card companies know anything or they just want to restrict us 2nd Amendment supports?

  21. Translation: the whole idea of sucking up to the anti-gun left by tracking and reporting “suspicious” gun purchases — while violating individuals’ privacy rights — became too hot, too politically risky, and possibly very costly.

    As with other languages your desire that this be the correct translation doesn’t make it so.

    The key to this whole thing is that word “pause”.

    As a noun, it may mean 1. a temporary stop 2. a break in a verse or a brief suspension of the voice to indicate the limits and relations of sentences and their parts 3. temporary inaction especially as caused by uncertainty (hesitation) 4. the sign denoting a fermata or a mark (such as a period or comma) used in writing or printing to indicate or correspond to a pause of voice 5 a reason or cause for pausing (as to reconsider) 6. a function of an electronic device that pauses a recording.

    As a verb, it may mean 1. to stop temporarily 2. to linger for a time.

    Parsing it as a noun we can eliminate 2, 4, 5 and 6, leaving 1 and 3. Parsing the word as a verb we could theoretically accept either but 1 is the better definition since physical movement is not a part of the sentence. That said, even if we go with 2 by choosing the more poetic use of language the meaning is the same.


    At this point you should not make any assumption that they’ve canned this idea. They are, at best, using the 3rd definition of “pause” as a noun. They will tactically “pause” to observe what legislatures and State AGs do for the purpose of seeing if they can get around the legal niceties.

    The current intention is obviously “a temporary stop” which, logically means that the intent is to continue on at some point in the future, though possibly using an alternative method to achieve the same goal. The only way “pause” becomes “permanent stop” is if it is deemed impossible legally or too costly to go forward.

    Therefore a proposed better translation:

    We’ve temporarily suspended our plans until we figure out if we can get away with them legally. If not, we will assess alternative methods to achieve the original goal without violating the letter of the law. At the same time, we will assess costs on both ends. We will take the path of least resistance when it comes to money. All of which is to say that there is no plan to stop, we plan to go forward unless that becomes impossible or too costly.

    Which, in the modern environment is a “dog whistle” saying this: “Hey, ESG folks, we are willing to tell the AG to fuck off. You just gotta make it worth more to do it than not to do it. We see your trillions, pony up and we’ll do what you want. Unless we’re threatened with prison, the ball’s in your court because you’ve got that sweet, sweet cash.”

    • “We’ve temporarily suspended our plans until we figure out if we can get away with them legally.”

      Perhaps a law can be crafted to stop that?

      I’d be very suspicious of one, because the Leftist Scum ™ very badly wants a list of names and addresses they can use against us… 🙁

      • It can be crafted. But it needs serious teeth. Like violations send CEO’s up the river for 25 years. Something they’d actually worry about rather than something they figure the company can just pay off on their behalf.

        The issue is that once crafted it can later be altered to include other “rights”.

        Incentives. People and societies run on them. The Left knows this and weaponizes it. You can do the same.

        If you want to do this it’s time to stop thinking inside .gov and law. Realize that both are governed by politics and that politics is downstream from culture.

        How much control over culture does the right have? Like zero IRL. But they can take back a lot of it real fast if they want to by retaking the educational system.

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