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There are only a few truly prestigious national media outlets left these days. Names that are known across the land and command influence over and the undying respect of…a small number of fellow media members, self-proclaimed intellectual elites and government functionaries who occupy two relatively thin layers of urban centers on both coasts.

Of the remaining top-shelf purveyors of Big Time Journalism, none is more respected by those on the upper west side or inside the beltway than the New York Times. Which is why The Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin has spent months…months…uncovering a seldom-seen, seedy underside of the retail gun business.

What exactly has the intrepid Sorkin discovered?

The New York Times reviewed hundreds of documents including police reports, bank records and investigator notes from a decade of mass shootings. Many of the killers built their stockpiles of high-powered weapons with the convenience of credit. No one was watching.

That’s right…Sorkin unearthed the long-hidden fact that people buy things with credit cards. And some of those things are…guns.

Sorkin, of course, focuses on the fact that an infinitesimal minority of those who buy firearms with credit cards go on to commit heinous crimes. Here’s what he found out about the Pulse nightclub shooter:

Two days before Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 more at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, he went on Google and typed “Credit card unusual spending.”

Mr. Mateen had opened six new credit card accounts — including a Mastercard, an American Express card and three Visa cards — over the previous eight months. Twelve days before the shooting, he began a $26,532 buying spree: a Sig Sauer MCX .223-caliber rifle, a Glock 17 9-millimeter semiautomatic pistol, several large magazines, thousands of rounds of ammunition and a $7,500 ring for his wife that he bought on a jewelry store card. His average spending before that, on his only card, was $1,500 a month.

Sorkin’s obvious implication is that someone — namely credit card companies — should be monitoring what you’re buying and alert authorities when your spending habits look…unusual.

A New York Times examination of mass shootings since the Virginia Tech attack in 2007 reveals how credit cards have become a crucial part of the planning of these massacres. There have been 13 shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade, and in at least eight of them, the killers financed their attacks using credit cards. Some used credit to acquire firearms they could not otherwise have afforded.

Those eight shootings killed 217 people. The investigations undertaken in their aftermath uncovered a rich trove of information about the killers’ spending. There were plenty of red flags, if only someone were able to look for them, law enforcement experts say.

Sorkin (and surely all of his bien pensant readers) wants to see the big credit card processors keep a much closer eye on how you’re spending our hard-earned money. But Visa and Mastercard don’t seem to want any part of that job.

“We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods or services,” said Amanda Pires, a Visa spokeswoman. “Our role in commerce is to efficiently process, protect and settle all legal payments. Asking Visa or other payment networks to arbitrate what legal goods can be purchased sets a dangerous precedent.”

A spokesman for Mastercard echoed that sentiment, emphasizing its protection of “cardholders’ independence” and the “privacy of their own purchasing decisions.”

But the financial industry is uniquely positioned to see, if it chose to do so, a potential killer’s behavior in a way that retailers, law enforcement officials, concerned family members or mental health professionals cannot.

The credit card processors may not want to get involved in policing your spending, but oh-so-concerned hacks like Sorkin think otherwise. Besides, it’s not as if there’s no precedent for financial institution reporting requirements.

Banks are required to report transactions of $10,000 or more by a single person, even if those transactions are legal. And after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the government enacted even stricter rules under the Patriot Act: Banks must file so-called Suspicious Activity Reports for transactions involving more than $5,000 that the financial institution “has reason to suspect” are part of a plan to “violate or evade any federal law.”

You know who else loves to use the power of banks and insurance companies to squeeze firearms manufacturers and those who advocate for gun rights? New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and his state insurance commissioner, that’s who.

Governor Soprano has already admitted that he put the screws to financial firms in New York to get them to stop doing business with the NRA. Why not add another demand that they start monitoring each purchase you make at Brownells, Cabela’s, Aero Precision, Lucky Gunner or your local gun store?

Jared L. Loughner had the Chase Visa he used to buy a 9-millimeter Glock handgun in the pocket of his jeans when he shot Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head outside a Tucson supermarket on Jan. 8, 2011. She survived, but six people died.

“There are a lot of steps that credit card companies can take that could prevent some of the tragic gun violence in the country,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “For companies to say they can’t solve the entire problem and therefore shouldn’t take any steps is just blindly ignoring what they can contribute to the solution.”

Elected officials could force the financial system to act.

They certainly could. And they will no doubt try as part of the continuing effort to enlist more companies in their corporate gun control push.

In order to avoid the all-seeing eye of Big Brother, more gun buyers would then increasingly procure their firearms with cash from local gun stores or individuals through private sales. A law requiring credit card processors to report gun-related purchases, then, would take a bite out of online sellers of guns and related gear like Bud’s, Bass Pro, Gunbroker and Armslist.

People like Sorkin and Governor Soprano, however, would see that very much as a feature, not a bug.


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    • Chicken Little was a plagiarist who stole the original news story from Henny Penny and took credit for it.

    • Wasn’t there a left wing gun grabbing liberal New York Attorney General a few years ago that was putting escort service payments on a credit card?

      • Yes,…. but you have to remember that these laws won’t apply to the political elite or the well connected. They steal millions of dollars and kill people in broad day light with millions of witnesses with nothing more than the stroke of a pen…. these laws are meant to keep you uppity and exploitable victims in your place.

    • Well, I wonder how many drug users purchase their illicit drugs with Credit cards. If only banks were forced to report such sales to government. . .

      But strangely, most drug pushers don’t take credit cards from their purchasers. (At least not in the conventional sense.) Not to mention, I thought government WANTED to migrate to an essentially cashless society so they could track such transactions.

      Looks like bitcoin will be in ascendance. Or maybe purloined gold.

  1. There may be something to this. It would serve the gun community well not to discount every gun related news story out of habit.

    I would certainly like to avoid future mass shootings and if triangulation included odd and unexplainable credit card behavior than so be it. Nobody is making anyone use credit cards and they are absolutely not a right.

    • “Something” that will morph into something else with a lot of false positives. Much of the public could be convinced that spending more than $1K on guns and ammo qualifies as “unusual activity”, and we’d have law enforcement harassing a lot of purchasers whose spending triggers the alert. And, of course, once local and/or state governments gets that information, those hostile to gun rights will be very reluyctant to give it up.

      • Spending a lot of money on 2A stuff is a red flag. Don’t worry, government is passing red flag laws to take the guns first and go to court after. These threats to public safety can be handled soon. This epidemic of gun violence will be cured eventually. If you got nothing to hide, you need not worry.

    • Camels nose under the tent

      Once you implement this “ability” it won’t be long before bank after bank refuses to allow any firearm transaction, under the pretext of “safety.”

      • EXACTLY LawBob! One more way of closing off all avenues for people to purchase guns except for using cash, and the U.S. government is currently trying to abolish cash purchases for everything under $20 or so.

    • Do I understand correctly that you are comfortable with commercial companies reporting your buying activity to a government agency? That you trust the government to not abuse such data collection?

      • Wow. You have no idea how any of this works do you?

        The fraud prevention algorithms already flag unusual purchases. The only difference is how deep the algorithm is programmed to triangulate. There is no way to avoid being tracked when using credit cards. The upside here is that activity and purchases can indicate a bigger issue. This is terrorism 101.

        Pretend all you like but when doing forensic accounting on the financial activity of mass killers, there is often a common pattern. So if you want to both buy guns/ammo and fly under the obvious radar while using credit cards, then don’t act like a potential mass shooter. Not sure how to do that? Well that’s my point!

        • You also have no idea how any of this works.
          The credit card company does not get a list of what you purchase. They get a retailer name / account and an amount. Adding the ability to track what you purchase would be an invasive addition. And Visa does not retain any of this information, they just process data through to the issuing bank, so the banks would have to coordinate their information.

          Just because there’s no amendment protecting the right to use a credit card (and the 9th and 10th amendments do cover this), does not mean the government has the authority to monitor your credit card usage without a warrant. Article 1 grants the government power. Any power not in that list does not exist. This power is not in that list, so it does not exist.

        • Hey everyone! JasonM is right. Go ahead and buy all the guns and ammo you like on your credit card. Nobody is watching and there is no record of what you bought. Thanks for clearing that up JasonM and we are all safer for it.

          And in other news, your 2A rights are as secure as Fort Knox now that trump is president.

        • Are you comfortable with commercial companies collecting all this data and reporting it to the government? Are you comfortable the government wouldn’t abuse the reporting?

          As I understand the “discovery” gun-related purchases are not “suspicious” activity, yet. The article proposes that IF all this gun-related purchasing were to be reported, government could step in and effect pre-crime intervention into non-criminal behavior.

          Are you saying you would happily endorse such, or are you saying it already happens?

          Just so you know, I am one who believes every human should have an international account number (starting with 666, followed by social credit score, followed by credit limit – constantly updated with each transaction, followed by assigned occupation identifier, embedded under the skin, cash should be illegal, and people without the account number on the right hand, or forehead should be banned from engaging in commerce.

          Of course, only people of my political persuasion would have the ability to conduct commerce. But, hey, what is power for if you don’t use it to punish your enemies?

        • Hey everyone! JasonM is right. Go ahead and buy all the guns and ammo you like on your credit card. Nobody is watching and there is no record of what you bought.

          Nice attempt at a strawman, but that is not what I said. I said the credit card company does not get a list of what you purchase. Having written a significant amount of credit card processing software, I am quite confident there was no secret list of what items the buyer purchased hidden in the data.

          Jason would rather not be thought a fool, he’d rather remove all doubt by opening his mouth.
          Coming from the guy who thinks vaccines are part of a conspiracy to inject people with mind control nanobots (or some similar nonsense justification for your anti-science views), this doesn’t really have much impact. But for clarification, can you point out which statement you take exception to? Was it when I pointed out that credit card auths don’t include the items purchased? Or when I pointed out that the Constitution doesn’t authorize the government to track our purchases? Or when I pointed out that the Bill of Rights is not an exhaustive list? Or are you just pissed that I was able to pass high school science class?

        • JasonN wrote
          “Having written a significant amount of credit card processing software, I am quite confident there was no secret list of what items the buyer purchased hidden in the data.”

          I can’t believe you actually said that! Dude, get a clue.

          For all other readers, that’s the problem with software writers, you never know what they are doing until it’s too late. Sorry JN. Your personal deniability just inflames my paranoia.

        • Big Sky… do want your purchases reported to an orange faced tyranical madman who controlls the executive branch, a neo-con republican senate, and a majority conservative judiciary?….. Open the door on gun purchases and see what happens. The government already has all of your meta data. They keep it in a massive server farm out in the Utah desert run by the NSA and its not a secret. However, to unmask that information they need a pretext, otherwise they can’t (legally) pursue you. This proposed legislation is nothing more than a legal pretext for data mining that meta data under the cover that the data came from the credit company.

        • Fraud prevention algorithms are child’s play compared to the dedicated data collection / correlation software that is commercially available. A good friend is a geek for a large utility company. They use a product called Sisense that is an amazingly powerful program for collecting and correlating random bits of data into patterns and associations that the utility (or government, law enforcement, wealthy organizations, political parties, etc) can use.

        • Jason, you repeat pharmaceutical industry bumper sticker slogans as if you were citing actual science…..and you brag about passing a high school science class… Nuff said.

        • Jason, you repeat pharmaceutical industry bumper sticker slogans as if you were citing actual science…..and you brag about passing a high school science class… Nuff said.
          But you’ve said absolutely nothing. I didn’t repeat anything from a pharmaceutical company. I said you’re one of those people who pretend vaccines don’t eliminate diseases by helping us develop immunity. Which is either proven science that millions of high school students replicate every year, and thousands of research scientists take part in progressing, or it’s the largest conspiracy since the moon landing and the globe earth. (And no, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear you think the earth is flat, and the moon is a tiny ball of light whizzing around the upper atmosphere).

          I’m curious, why do you think polio went from 20,000 – 60,000 cases per year in the US in the early 1950s to about 100 a decade later? Was it magic? Or were the earlier high numbers just part of the huge vaccine conspiracy?

          I can’t believe you actually said that! Dude, get a clue.
          That is almost as good of an argument as “Nuh-uh! You are!”. Why don’t you share this clue that you apparently believe you have and I do not? What point are you challenging? What facts do you have to challenge it? I’m guessing none, because of your elementary school level response.

          For all other readers, that’s the problem with software writers [sic], you never know what they are doing until it’s too late. Sorry JN [sic].
          That would apply to any profession. If you don’t trust your baker, don’t eat. If you don’t trust your doctor, don’t seek medical care. If you don’t trust software engineers, maybe you shouldn’t be connecting to the internet and using a computer. Although in the case of Visa tracking, or not, your individual purchases, it’s the bankers, not the software engineers making the decisions. And it’s quite easy to verify this, because they use a published standard to communicate.

          Your personal deniability just inflames my paranoia.
          I will not accept the blame for your irrational behavior.
          Your personal idiocy just inflames my misanthropy.

        • “I can’t believe you actually said that!”

          Actually, JasonM is 100% correct. The packets containing the data for a CC transaction are short and contain no information on what was purchased. Yes, I too wrote software for Point-of-sale systems that transmitted CC information.). Sure, the feds can enact laws to force vendors to refit their POS systems to send that data, but it would take years to refit and recertify the whole industry and billions of dollars. And that is “B” for billions…and I would easily predict hundreds of billions. And here is the clincher, gun stores only have to change the name of the products they sell to something else like “golf clubs” or “pest control system”, and guess what, billions of dollars wasted.

          • I fully understand those who claim actual items purchased cannot be gleaned from credit card transactions. My question is: How did the NYT do it? (Maybe I just keep overlooking the mechanics of the NYT research).

        • JasonM- ” I’m curious, why do you think polio went from 20,000 – 60,000 cases per year in the US in the early 1950s to about 100 a decade later? Was it magic? Or were the earlier high numbers just part of the huge vaccine conspiracy?”
          Are you asking the right questions? Do you know polio is an enterovirus? And even by the CDC’s numbers, 95-99% of people with polio fully recover from polio without sequelae? And the vast majority of people with polio show zero symptoms? Polio has been around a very long time, why did it suddenly become a significant problem in the 1940’s and 1950’s(Do you know what DDT is) ? Did you know the incidence of what was called polio actually increased after the vaccine was introduced? Did you know that after the increase in what was called polio after the vaccine was introduced the definition and diagnostic criteria for what was called polio was changed? Did you know the change in definition and and diagnostic criteria of what was called polio significantly reduced the cases of what was called polio? This is not conspiracy theory, this is fact. Do you know what provocation Polio is? Do you know what the numbers are for people suffering from paralytic disorders today that would have been diagnosed as polio prior to the definition change and vaccine? You want to have more fun? Ask the right questions. The iron lung pictures…here’s another question, how many people throughout the entire polio epidemic , or what was called polio at that time , were put into iron lungs? Another question, why did what was called polio at that time reduce at similar rates in Europe where there was no mass polio vaccine campaign? Stop repeating industry bumper sticker slogans and do a little reading. You might learn something.

          Here’s a fun link with citations you can peruse.

    • We do have an expectation of privacy in our purchases. I certainly don’t want mr credit card company obligated by law to alert law enforcement that I made purchases from an FFL.
      We need less government in our personal lives, not more!

      • @ Old Sarge
        “We need less government in our personal lives, not more!”

        “Government that governs the least governs the best” and commercial companies have No Effin business in a citizens private business,Period,Full Stop !

      • What an easy way to make a database of what guns you buy. Just have the payment processor send their database to the government or at least allow them to login to a system.

      • actually my CC company has contacted me more than once about what they perceive to be fraudulent purchases…airfare to south america, large amount of cosmetics bought outside my area, etc….and i’m glad they did…never bothered me about firearms though…personally i’m glad they’re looking out for me…

        • They are not looking out for you, they are looking out for themselves. The consumer is only liable for a certain amount, beyond that limit it is the bank/credit union to write off as
          a loss. Data mining consumer habits are very good indicators of risk, your auto insurance is underwritten using your credit report. A few years ago Target sent a woman a post card congratulating her on her pregnancy. They monitored what products she purchased, using their software they knew such products were purchased in the first trimester. Only problem with this woman, she was a minor child who lived at home, who’s father picked up the mail that day and found out he was going to be a GRANDFATHER.
          The random bombings in Texas last year, they pulled store records and reviewed in store video surveillance and were able to figure out the suspect’s ID.
          I dealt with a wrong ID hit and run insurance claim filed against minor with the same name as mine in a nearby city. I pulled my CC records and used a point of sale very close to that time to prove I was not close to it and could not be the person in question.
          Power companies flag homes with higher than normal energy cost as possible grow operations to LE agencies. Guess now it does not work as well with LED grow lights.
          I am sure FedEx/UPS flag addresses that receive large amount of small arms ammo,
          So yes, banks/credit unions have a very good clue about your interest and in today’s world it’s almost impossible to hide any amount of spending from Uncle Sammy’s sight, your internet service/cell phone provider is more than happy to share if asked.
          Add in red light cameras, tag readers on LE cars and there is no expectation of privacy using public roads or public parking lots at stores, now they can have a fairly accurate picture of your driving habits, we are critters of habit most of the time. We have video cameras and eavesdropping devices in our homes that WE purchased for others to us against us, Google, Apple, Amazon, etc… TV’s that watch and listen to us while selling what we watch to data merchants.
          Welcome to 1984,

    • Nobody is making anyone use public roads either, but good luck living a normal modern life without them.

    • Move to China if you’d enjoy living in an Orwellian police state. Keep that garbage out of the US.

    • True, you don’t have a human right to use a private service. You do have a human right to privacy and due process.

    • “I would certainly like to avoid future mass shootings and if triangulation included odd and unexplainable credit card behavior than so be it.”

      Strongly agree. If a person has a history of being fiscally conservative and suddenly begins amassing credit cards and running them up to the max then something is going on. And I’m not just talking about murderers. It could be drugs or someone that has gone off the rails in other ways, and might be a predictor of all kinds of mischief.


      • “…It could be….” is the mating call of every tyrant in history. Trying to eradicate the world of threats based solely on “…. it could be…” is an invitation to abuse of power. Especially when (as stated by the NYT article) it is meant to stop the kind of shootings that were committed by 13 suspects, involved in 12 separate and widely dispersed incidents, spread out over 10 years, but whose enforcement would adversely affect the privacy and lives of 100’s of millions of innocent people….. If you want to write and enforce laws with these kinds of numbers, then go to Chicago and catch the 13 suspects who will kill 40 people in 12 separate incidents in a geographically confined area on any given 4-day weekend. Solve that problem, then I’ll consider your endorsement of mass survailence for the other 350 million of us.

    • I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not but I’m afraid you’re serious. In that event Is like to ask a couple of questions:
      1. Under what authority would a creditor be required to proactively report the legal, private transactions of their customers to some government agency?
      2. From where would the government derive the funding and manpower to run down the enormous number of lawful firearms transactions that take place on credit cards, and further, do you feel the potential utility of these…investigations is such that the resulting lesser amount of manpower and resources for other purposes is worth the trade off?
      3. Would you ne willing tonpay more taxes and expand the number of federal agents to facilitate these investigations?
      4. Since the vast, vast majority of firearms used in homicides come from unlawful sources (stolen, straw buy, etc) and given that mass shootings of these sorts are statistcally rare, do you believe that any real good could possibly be achieved in this manner? If so, do those benefits outweigh the loss of privacy?
      5. What form do you envision these investigations taking? The creditor reports (what?) and unusual use of a cars for a firearms purchase to (whom?) the FBI who then (what?) go interview the purchaser (pursuant to what authority?) who would be well within his rights to refuse the interview. Then I suppose that if in the opinion of the investigating agents (but somehow without an articulable suspicion of a crime) there is something (what?) worthy of investigation more resources would be expended, to the detriment of other investigations and to the privacy of an individual who at this point has done nothing illegal or even very suspicious. After all this something like 99.9999999999 percent of the time the the purchaser will turn out not to be a mass murderer in the making (but may still end up in trouble when the scrutiny of the FBI reveals evidence they’ve broken some other, unrelated law…all so that about 1 in several million times a murder might be prevented?

      If I have the process different than you envision, please tell me what you see the process to be.

      While I’m not insensitive to mass murder, the simple fact is that it cannot be prevented. Regardless of what laws we pass or steps we take, mass murder will always be a thing. In the absence of all guns, mass murder is perpetrated with bombs and trucks and poison gas and fire and even just knives.

      If we seriously want to reduce mass murder, national constitutional carry would, evidence suggests, be far more effective than any sort of restrictions we might add. That is, government getting out of the way would help, more government intervention will not.

      At the same time, the further down this surveillance and restriction of core rights path we go in a futile effort to prevent something that both cannot be prevented and is also so rare as to be statistically unimportant the worse off we are Re: murder and crime but more importantly Re: liberty and freedom.

      What you propose sounds to me exactly like the “We have to do something, anything!” and the “If it saves one life.” reasoning that has so badly impaired our liberty already, and which, in its unintended consequences has made us all less safe.

      Here is my proposal for dealing with this issue. Do nothing at all. That’s right, nothing. As a source of murder deaths mass shootings are statistically meaningless. They are rare outliers, and any real issues with violence and murder in America is entirely a question of a few zip codes and a couple of small demographics mostly involved in the illicit drug trade. If you want to slow the murder rate, address those issues, perhaps by legalizing drugs. If you really mist “Do something” about mass murder specifically, work to pass national constitutional carry and to make gun free zones a few as possible. However, if you absolutely must do something, please don’t advocate for more surveillance of we citizens, and please stop eroding our core, natural rights in a hopeless attempt to do something about something that really needs nothing done. Accept that freedom has associated costs, that freedom is messy and dangerous, and that it’s wonderful.

    • There may be something to the FACT that you are an absolute moron willing to kiss the hind end of any and all anti-gun leftist politicians too.

  2. Wow it seems like the disarmed want to start a civil war eventually, but as usual they don’t seem to have thought it through all the way…🤣😂🤣😂🤣😂😂😅😅🤣😂🤣😂

  3. 1) Find some news NOT about the 2 left coasts. Tired of hearing from them.
    2) I just HAD to switch card ’cause of the Cabelas/BPS merge. I hate Cap one.
    3) Sick of hearing the .223 as “high powered”. NOT: overhyped .22

    4) MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL and may you get the gat that keeps on given.

    • think they just mean “more powerful than pistols”…although that isn’t always true either…

  4. This is why the PTB are slowly but surely eliminating cash. A lot easier to keep the sheep in line when you can shut off their card when they misbehave.

    • Use a cc cash advance to buy a gun? Do you do a lot of business with the check cashing places? Financially a cash advance on a cc is like financing a new car. Bad business choice.

      • It’s all the same when you pay it off at the end of the month and don’t carry a balance. And that way big brother doesn’t know if I’m spending it on my kids birthday, hookers and blow, or a new gat piece.

      • I was speaking to the uselessness of the proposed legislation. A mass-murderer buying weapons on credit isn’t concerned about interest or paying anything back.

        Whereas me, not planning mass murder, learned about credit the hard way a long time ago. My sole experience with cash advance was to get my car out of impound after it got towed. Which also taught me not to park in large cities.

    • Yep beat me to it…I NEVER buy anything gun related with any credit/ debit card. Honestly I use Cabela’s Club card because I get a discounted purchase. Ammo or accessories only…

  5. “There have been 13 shootings that killed 10 or more people in the last decade.”

    Only 13? That can’t be true, I’ve been told by very trustworthy and credible news agencies that shootings like this occur on a daily basis.

    • They redefine mass shooting to be 4 or nore injured. They can then blame a 5-shot snibby revolver for being an assault weapon used in deadly mass shootings.

  6. “There are a lot of steps that credit card companies can take that could prevent some of the tragic gun violence in the country,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel of the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

    This actually made me laugh out loud. Blame everyone but the psycho

  7. I have been posting for quite some time that prepping for the day mass numbers of SWAT teams are pounding on doors to confiscate firearms is the wrong tactic. It is the subtle squeezing of freedom that will be the favored tool. Once the credit card companies understand that reporting credit card spending has the same virtue as refusing to do business with the “gun industry”, the companies will be proud to announce that they are an active part of making America safe again. This “virtue signaling” will not stop. Companies are finding there is negligible profit loss in offending people serious about the constitution and 2A. One or two major brands may find they struggle a bit, but overall, credits with the radical left, credits with MSM, credits with the Demoncrat party are more valuable. The unstated “Anaconda Plan” is what will disarm the country.

  8. Cash and “gift card” purchases would destroy these budding encroachments on personal liberty and spending habits.

  9. This is the second big story in major lefty outlets today. It’s not coincidence. Both stories are guaranteed to result in new legislation in the House, which may or may not pass. This is part of the Dem assault they promised when they won a majority, and is the first salvo of incoming fire. There will be more of it.

      • Yeah, let’s keep pretending ALL the mainstream “news”doesn’t get dispersed through a government agency bottleneck.

        • It’s not government. Journalists are part of the the same social sphere, are politically aligned in large part, and as JournoList demonstrated, communicate and coordinate.

          There’s nothing illegitimate about it, per se, except that the press would like people to believe they are neutral arbiters of the truth, absent any agendas whatsoever. If they were seen to be just another group of partisan players, their lofty self-image takes a gigantic blow.

        • Carlos, please. All of our “news” has beeen filtered and dispersed through approved bottleneck channels for decades, and not by some private collaborative of leftist journalists. So hard to get the truth even on this blog.

  10. There needs to be a pro-gun, pro-2A banking system. Read the article on line that explains “They Won’t Take your Guns. You will happily Turn Them In.” It describes how gunnies will be forced through financial pressure to turn their guns in, Banks will shut down credit cards, checking accounts, CD access, etc.; financial institutions will shutdown investment accounts; etc. How long will you last in implementing the 2A with the change in your pocket? How long will dads watch their kids not have food to eat? Very small percentage of Americans are preppers that will be able to resist financial pressure. Most live paycheck to paycheck. Operation Choke Point was Obama’s test of anti-gun financial pressure. I have over $250,000 in credit card limits, over 800 credit score; budget $50,000 annually for gun related expenditures.,,,,,and, BofA routinely blocks purchases for ammo or gun items as suspicious activity. Most recently was $312.xx at WalMart for 10 boxes of 6.5CM which I found in stock for an upcoming PRS match.

    • That has nothing to do with gun related stuff. Bofa likes flagging Walmart. I never got flagged by them on any fun related purchases. They did lock me down at least three times for buying at Walmart. They also argued with me that I was lying about fraudulent charges when I disputed a charge at a dining establishment in Prague as well as a charge to a Czech language dating website. The meal being within a couple hours of me tanking up at my usual gas station.

      Which is among the reasons I don’t deal with them any more.

  11. These credit card actions are pre-emptive….in case someone might do evil in the future…Minority Reportish. Under that thought process, every one enrolling to be a priest should be pre-emptively castrated. Everyone filing to run for Illinois Governor, should be placed pre-emptively in the Governor’s Wing accommodations at the State Prison; everyone filing to run for public office should pre-emptively be placed in prison. Now that last one might have merit. As we all know, it is not about public safety. It is about public control and restricting the ability to resist evil.

  12. I bet these killers drove cars too before they committed crimes. We need to monitor everyone’s driving and movements for suspicion.
    How would people like that?

  13. Andrew Sorkin says it is suspicious to buy weapons and ammo with a credit card. The FBI says it is suspicious to buy weapons and ammo with cash []. And the solution to both “problems” is more government involvement.

    Hmm I have a better idea… Maybe our country should have a list of suspicious *government* behaviors to prevent the *government* from doing dangerous things like this? We could number the list, make our government promise to follow it, then make it the supreme law of the land. That would probably work out better than adding more Orwellian mass surveillance.

    • If using a credit card is suspicious, and using cash is suspicious, clearly the best alternative is bitcoin.

      Nothing at all shady about buying guns with a form of payment where every transaction is logged in a public ledger, amirite?

      • I buy guns through barter. 50 chickens for an SKS. If things go south and the Black Helicopters come, I can fry up and eat the evidence.

  14. This moron… banks have to report currency transactions in excess of $10,000 at a time. Currency meaning cash transactions. It’s for anti-money laundering. And the part about reporting over $5,000 when suspicious, is in regards to suspicions of individuals trying to evade the aforementioned mandated reporting at $10,000.
    Conveniently, this particular requirement is often used as justification for banks to drop firearms related businesses as customers. Specifically, because firearms related businesses generate a significant amount of cash transactions. Which is now considered to be suspicious activity.

  15. I have not purchased any firearm or firearms related items with a credit card. or check. I’d suggest others do the same. It’s not about what “they” are allowed to do, it’s what “they” do that matters. This is old hat news, the FBI has been tracking firearms and firearm related items for quite some time. That CCL license , permission slip, yup you volunteered to be on that list. Every permission the government gives on “the right to bare arms, shall not be infringed” should be suspect of being used against you.

  16. Corporate gun control is NYT’s number one agenda item this year. They want to destroy gun ownership by going after the ability to purchase guns via anything but cash.

  17. The problem is that standard purchases would be flagged as unusual activity. For example, suppose you have two people in your household that participate in competition shooting. In the type of competitions they do, they need to reload their own ammo due to price and also tuning the ammunition for the purpose (like achieving something over a power factor but that also functions well and is accurate). Because you have two people in the house you purchase many thousands of rounds worth of raw components each year. The amounts of money involved in these purchases can easily be in the thousands and would be flagged. I have a better idea. Let’s go after real criminals, put them in jail for a long time, and really solve the problem.

    • Real criminals?, like the ” fck yur bumpstocks ban” guys? It’s getting to where just owning a firearm makes you a felon.

      • “It’s getting to where just owning a firearm makes you a felon.”

        A designed “unintended consequence”.

      • if govt. wants to track bumpstock purchases… they can easily trace it to you…something to think about if the ban sticks…

  18. Fucking with our money is a *very* dangerous road for these idiots to walk down. People can tolerate a lot…until you start fucking with their money.

    Of course, it’s also probably inevitable.

    Everything that isn’t mandatory must be forbidden for these people.

  19. I’m pretty sure most people use credit cards to buy stuff.

    If you looked at people planning to do anything, they will use some credit cards.

    Now of they are buying drugs, sex slaves, or bomb making components, they may be more inclined to cash. Maybe.

    Let’s see some data on other crimes or terrorist activities. Maybe the banks could stop other crimes before they happen. I won’t hold my breath.

    So the cops can’t find their aas with both hands and sling the blame that banks should do their work for them. Give me a break.

    Do your damned job. If LEO had done their job on the Parkland shooter, it would have been a nom issue.

  20. Government forcing companies to do things? That sounds a lot like fascism.

    Payment processors don’t want to be forced to spend money on monitoring lawful purchases? Yet they will make an effort to not allow certain people to use their service because those people upset SJWs/communists?

  21. The fact that people make purchases with a credit card gets more attention from gun grabbers than outright proof the NRA is funneling money into its executives. Remember that when the NRA claims they are hated by gun grabbers.

  22. Are you aware that the 9/11 hijackers bought their tickets with – A CREDIT CARD!
    What can we do about the credit card menace?

    • A cashless society with Bitcoin.

      In this system Google/Amazon/Paypal/Patreon can use their vast computing power to monitor all the transactions to decide which to flag and what people to stop from being able to buy anything before they can be investigated by the government. We can also extend this technology from risky purchases to a social justice credit system to make society behave in a correct manner without the need of secret social engineering.

      Such a system will save many children’s lives and stop bullying in society. For instance, hate speech will be much easier to control at a click of a button, as people very much care about money over principles. Without money people cannot operate in a modern society. Taking away the loophole that is physical cash will make sure there are no workarounds.

      If you invest in Bitcoin early you will become one of the rich and you will help the transition to the cashless society of the future. Do it for your kids and their kids. Do it for a better tomorrow. You won’t regret it.

  23. My credit card companies always notify me of unusual activity…cards being used in person at a physically different geographic location other than my usual bill/to ship/to addresses. Statistically, stolen cards are rapidly sent out of state to get a wider window of use. (Red flag, customer bought eight premium tires and six one way tickets to Guam from Brownsville, TX, customer lives in Petaluma, CA) So before I travel, I notify them. If the feds want a seat at the table I see no problem, as long as my credit card companies notify me in the same way, and neither does my attorney. You can never have too much primary source information when filing a federal, class action, invasion of privacy lawsuit. -30-

  24. We shouldn’t dismiss this idea. Because most banks financial service companies are NY based Cuomo has considerable oversight power – ask the NRA how NY is abusing this power.

  25. Did the intrepid Mr. Sorkin happen to make note of the fact that people also use credit cards to pay for breakfast, lunches and dinners too?

  26. Criminals, however, rely on cash. They don’t want their purchases to be traced. (That is, when they aren’t stealing the firearms).

  27. I bought a car once with a credit card. 12 grand at once. Rose the grace period and paid it off with a car loan while pocketing the miles.
    Maybe I ended up on a list somewhere due to an unusual activity like that.

    • Doubt it, my Amex Platinum actually encourages it with a points multiplier and guaranteed “True Car” pricing if I use it for the down payment or entire purchase price of a new car from one of their participating dealers.

      I used the same card to earn the 100k points sign on bonus by buying guns and optics earlier this year.

  28. Bought a new pickup once for $23K on a credit card (to get the points), the card had a $30K limit. Bought the truck on Tue., on Thur. the notice was in my mailbox that my credit limit was increased to $50K. When you pay off every bill at the end of the month, they do pay attention.

    • “When you pay off every bill at the end of the month, they do pay attention.”

      Yes, they do. Got a call from W-F rep, asking me to run a balance one month so they can show some revenue from my account. I noted that they got revenue when I used the card. Response was that the purchase did not reflect interest on a balance, which is something they consider when reviewing lack of activity as reason to cancel a card. W-F did not like giving me $250 cash back, and not getting additional revenue from interest to cover the cash they put out, I guess. Anyway, I let $25 remain on balance for two months.

      After paying off credit cards each month for over ten years, not one company offered me an increased limit. Had to ask (just for fun) for it, myself.

          • “…in my case…it was college tuition….”

            $30k+ every six months might get W-F’s attention. Maybe I should get into collecting museum quality firearms.

        • “buy something big…then pay it off at the end of the month…that limit will go up …fast!…”

          I am doing something wrong. Paid for parents’ funerals with a credit card. Nothing from W-F.

  29. Yep……..GUILTY as charged, bought ALL my guns (7) with one of those dreaded plastic credit cards.But Oakland University in Michigan can relax as I have NEVER purchased one of those deadly hockey pucks that they passed out for personal protection.

  30. The real issue here is that such a scheme can’t really work and will just harass law abiding people. At that point it will be expanded to encompass other transactions such as cash withdrawals that are deemed “suspicious” or look at other “suspicious purchases” like buying the wrong book or the wrong set of items at the hardware store.

    How long before a copy of the Constitution from Amazon, some nuts, bolts and PVC pipe from Home Depot and some smokeless powder from a gun store put you on a watchlist?

  31. I saw this earlier today and thought how completely idiotic the antis are in general. Imagine that, people buy things with credit cards. Wow, who would have thought that? There was another article saying how 40,000 people had died by being shot last year and it was a new record. Of course, the article doesn’t differentiate between homicides, suicides and criminals shot while in the commission of a crime. All they want to point out is how the evil gun came to life and killed someone all by itself.

  32. The banks are required to report CASH transactions of $10,000 or more, not any transaction! A credit card transaction of $10,000 would not have to be reported.

  33. Laughable.

    Far be it for the NYT to use actual common sense when approaching the topic of firearms or shooting sports.

    Let’s say for one second that In some far off Bradyland ( sorry, I threw up a bit also ) the financial institutions of Visa, MasterCard, and American Express did decide to report purchases at stores that sell firearms. People both good and evil could still use those lines of credit to purchase firearms and related items. It’s called cabelas gift cards purchased at you local grocery store.

    This is where these media outlets, and most democratic lawmakers lose the argument. We all wish there was a way to prevent people from committing mass violence, but trampling the freedoms guaranteed by the constitution is not the answer. Free will requires a individuals moral compass to point north for this to be reduced or eliminated.

  34. Sorkin could get a doctorate from Harvard with this logic…..after all they just accepted Hogg…another mental giant.

  35. My dad passed away 50 years ago, he still gets CC applications, 2 states later and my mom passed last year and gets all kinds of junk mail sent to my house. Who is going to process and investigate all of the hundreds of millions of CC purchases each month when they don’t even know if your alive or dead. People somehow think that there is this vast network of computers and investigators when there just aren’t.
    These nut jobs don’t ever plan on paying off the CC , so unless they buy the weapons ammo, etc way in advance, it’s going to be too late to do much about it. I don’t believe that this is some kind of trend that is worth the money required to implement it to where it would do much good.
    Besides if they are legal and allowed to own what they bought, how do you plan on preventing anything?
    As a lifetime target shooter who buys things when they are discounted, how much is too much. Most guys who shoot AR’s buy ammo by the case, 1000 rounds at a time, which allows them to be able to afford their sport. To some 1000 rounds is a cache or crapload of ammo, to others it’s a few days worth of shooting.
    I don’t shoot much anymore in my late 60’s, but most guys shoot 2 or 3 boxes once or twice per week, that’s 600-1200 rounds per month of 9mm 40, or 45, which is pretty normal for people who shoot as a hobby. I would bet most non shooters would think that was way too much. My granddaughter goes to Parkland, and the shooter walked right past her, the kid is an A+ student a real nerd, she still can’t sleep nights anymore, My stepdaughter was outside listening to gunshots go off while at least 3 cops stood there for 3-5 minutes wondering what to do. So none of this crap makes any sense, If I were there, I would have gone in, even without my gun, that’s my granddaughter in there, and cops were standing around outside, afraid to get shot. I like cops, many of my friends and family were cops or served their country in some form, but some people are just batshit crazy, they will always find ways to circumvent the rules. Criminals don’t go where they have a good chance of being shot by a good guy with a gun. It’s that simple. This is where we are, it’ sucks but if more people were armed and schools were not restricted zones where citizens can’t carry, it would end this. I carried in NYC for 25 years and you don’t see this kind of massacre there and there are a lot more schools there than anywhere else.
    Speaking to a neighbor who is also a middle school teacher and a parent. He said these are crazy “white boys”. He also said that most times they are known by the other kids as loners or weird. It’s never girls or black young men, it’s always white mentally disturbed kids. They need to separate them and send them for treatment, “he said”, that it’s obvious to the rest of the kids who the likely suspects are. We can eliminate 2/3 of the kids by race and gender. When did a Girl, or a young black male shoot up a school, never. So instead of concentrating on CC purchases, we should concentrate on the 1/3 of the kids who are likely to do this and look amongst them for socially awkward kids who don’t relate to anyone, why is this so hard to figure out?

    • “When did a Girl, or a young black male shoot up a school, never.”
      True. On the other hand, young black males shoot so many other young black males, that handful of school shootings (no matter how much more media attention they got) doesn’t amount for more than rounding error.
      If mass shootings in schools etc. stopped happening, it will have no significant effect on murder rate. They, unlike gang violence, are very rare. Mainstream media just blows them out of proportion to push for civilian disarmament.

  36. I thought the most significant point to be made about mass shooters is that the majority or them are Democrats, and the majority of those are on psychoactive drugs. This is a real link that should be pursued!

  37. gun control is for the rich to exert some type of freedom restraint on the masses, for their own (rich people’s) safety because most of them kill or injure more people than anyone else and are afraid of retribution!

  38. @Jason, Merry Christmas or whatever you celebrate, if you do. I’ll answer your question tomorrow, as I have answered this very question multiple times on this forum.

  39. Thank you TTAG for monitoring the NYT, so I don’t have too. I stopped getting their news feed about 12 years ago. Fake News, Made it up, Just trust us???
    President Trump has been a breath of fresh air. I like watching the Liberals heads explode, when he calls them Fake News. .

  40. First, the cost to refit the Point of Sale systems and credit card tracking systems nationwide to send purchase data would easily cost hundreds of billions of dollars. I am not kidding. The “Y2K” issue that causes fear in the 90’s of the apocalypse was nothing compared to the prospect of having to replace every POS and credit card transaction system in the country.

    Second, gun stores only need to rename their products to something else, like “golf clubs”, or bundle guns with other products…and billions wasted.

  41. That would be an invasion of privacy. Of course, this coming from the New York Times and from New York does not shock me a bit. It’s communist just like that state is. You want someone to draw $500.00+ out of their bank account and go to a gun store to purchase a gun. Try doing your job without a single view. I don’t carry that much money on me and when I go to purchase a gun I use a credit card. Some guns cost well over $5000.00. If you use them for competition such as three guns you may buy a pistol, rifle, and shotgun in the same day. That is not unusual. I hate to pop your bubble. Certain pistol magazines can cost close to $40.00 each. This is not a hidden truth and happens all of the time. Daily. Thousands of times a day by thousands of people in thousands of stores in thousands of cities. You are gun grabbing which is communist. Hurting law abiding citizens trying to take away a right under the Second Amendment. Get a life. No wonder people are leaving New York and you have put out fake news before.

  42. Edward Snowden has already proved that no new laws even need be passed as the Government already has access to your spending habits and if they desire can use that information against you and do it legally. So why don’t they? Because as long as you do not threaten them or their wealth or power they could not care less how many people get killed in mass shootings. Its only when the general public panics and puts pressure on them that they would be willing to pass new laws which are in reality not even needed. Government computer systems are already sophisticated enough to do exactly what the New York Times wants and do it legally without admitting they have monitored everyone and not just “a suspicious person” whom they can get a warrant for in a heart beat.

    With Snowden in exile because he tried to save the “right to privacy” other people within the government dare not reveal what they already know and in some cases what they already do on a daily basis. Despite all the uproar over the Snowden revelations not one thing has changed. As one guest on France 24 News revealed, the U.S. Government has friendly foreign countries and not so friendly foreign countries and their agents spying on the American Peoples privacy which they then turn over to the U.S. Government who can then claim “Gee we did not spy on you we just happened to find the info when our spies were spying on foreign spies that were spying on you”. Its a fool proof lie to pass the buck and get away with it.

    Do you think the current revelation by the U.S. Government that China was stealing personal information on U.S. Citizens was something the Chinese thought up themselves and only benefits them, maybe in the future. Well guess again. Politics often make strange bedfellows and often even mortal enemies cooperate to their mutual benefit. Its not just the 4 families of the Mafia that suddenly discovered that cooperation was more beneficial than always trying to destroy one another. Cha, Ching the Chinese trade and or sell info to the U.S. Government on its own Citizens and the U.S. with a wink and a nod does the same for China. All this makes one wonder who is really our most dangerous enemy. At this point I would say its not China.

  43. What happens to the gun store when the guy who spent $26K on credit cards goes to jail? Does the credit card company take the L or does the gun store not get paid?

    I don’t think credit card companies should do anything that isn’t in the interest of their business to try and set a moral precedent. But it is pretty important to note that AR-15s are expensive, and the only time someone buys one they can’t afford is when they plan on dying or going to jail for it.

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