Credit card gun control
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By Larry Keane

In the left corner of every dollar bill is the phrase, “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.”

If Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke has his way, it might be amended with an asterisk.

*except if you’re trying to use it to pay for guns with a credit card

O’Rourke, who grandstanded on the Democratic presidential debate stage to announce an unequivocal promise to confiscate every lawfully owned AR-15 or AK-47, took his gun control schemes to another level. He suggested that credit card companies refuse to honor sales for so-called “assault weapons.”

Specifically, he wants to cut off modern sporting rifle sales, for online and gun show sale without a background check and stop doing business with manufacturers of modern sporting rifles and the ammunition that feeds them. Of course, he seems to be ignorant of the fact that MSRs come in a variety of calibers from 22 rimfire for target shooting to larger calibers for big game hunting. He’s, therefore, seeking to ban the credit card purchase of a broad range of calibers, but I digress.

In fact, O’Rourke said these companies “profit off of terrorizing communities,” adding “It’s time for them to step up now and stop the easy flow of assault weapons to terrorists.”  I guess he also thinks Budweiser is terrorizing communities and profiting off drunk driving?

At Least Be Original

For all of O’Rourke’s wild gesticulations, his ideas are, well, unoriginal. What he’s essentially asking for is Operation Choke Point 2.0, the Obama administration’s direction to financial institutions to discriminate against businesses in the firearms industry. Lending institutions were nudged by the government to label firearms businesses as “high risk” or as a “reputational risk” for the financial institution and be cut off from banking services.

Congressman Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) authored the legislation, H.R. 189, the Financial Institution Customer Protection Act, that is pending in Congress and would put an end to this government overreach. He’s long been at this to end these attacks on the firearms industry.

The credit card scheme was the idea proposed by the New York Times’ Andrew Ross Sorkin in 2018 and 2017. Sorkin explained he wants credit card companies to track purchases and turn that information over to the government, just in case someone is planning a crime. Buy a gun with a credit card. Got it. Buy another. They’re watching. Buy ammunition with that credit card, it could be a pattern and that information, according to Sorkin, should flag you to authorities.

O’Rourke should have done a little research because he would have found out what Sorkin learned in the wake of his publication of the wild gun control arrangements. The Daily Caller reported at the time both Visa and Mastercard had no interest and such an idea “sets a dangerous precedent.” Wells Fargo, a major banking institution, according to Sorkin’s own reporting, stated gun regulation is the responsibility of the government, not corporations.

Even the ACLU, hardly a gun-rights proponent, panned the idea as “enormously intrusive role in American life.”

Congress Could Stop This Nonsense

In fact, this is the very reason why Congress needs to take up the Freedom Financing ActH.R. 2079 by U.S. Rep. Roger Williams (R-Texas) and S. 821 by U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) and John Kennedy (R-La.).

This legislation would work to end the discriminatory lending practices of major banking institutions that seek to circumvent the legislative process and set social policy from the boardroom. These measures would prevent financial institutions from accessing taxpayer-subsidized government programs when they are at the same time denying banking services to lawful and compliant industries.

Here’s how it would work. Banking institutions with more than $10 million in assets that choose to discriminate against firearms business can, they just lose access to taxpayer-funded protections. That includes Federal Reserve Discount Window Lending Programs, Federal Deposit Insurance Company and Automated Clearing House Network.

It’s time those attempting to convince us to vote them into office promise to use the power of government to protect freedoms and not use that authority as a cudgel against the firearms industry.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel at National Shooting Sports Foundation.

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    • For some perspective, from 2000-2017, 259 people were killed with so called assault weapons. During that same period drunk drivers killed 80,000. But our ARs are the problem.

      • It’s simple though – driving serves a useful function to society, guns don’t! (unless your a hunter or cop)

        Republicans: These darn liberal snowflakes!

        Also Republicans: Momma I need my guns to feel safe at night!

        • “It’s simple though – driving serves a useful function to society, guns don’t! (unless your a hunter or cop)”

          *Bzzzzzzzzt!* Wrong.

          Guns used in self defense stop over 500,000 crimes a year…

        • “driving serves a useful function to society, guns don’t!”

          *Thousands* of elderly, weak, or disabled people able to defend themselves from robbery or violence annually is the very definition of a “useful function to society”.

          But you’re just fine with those folks being unable to walk to a corner grocery without fear of being assaulted and robbed of their social security check. The *only* income they have.

          You really are a despicable piece of shit, aren’t you, ‘Yasmar’?

          Tell me, ‘Yaz’, is a woman who was brutally attacked and raped at knifepoint morally morally superior to woman with dead rapist at her feet?

          As far as I’m concerned, the less rapists walking the streetsstreets is very useful to a safe society.

          But you want to leave them utterly defenseless, scumbag…

        • The proper analogy would be to ban alcohol, which we tried. It failed, and mainly succeeded in making organized crime groups richer and more powerful than ever.

        • I’m a GoT fan too but what you don’t understand is that we don’t need our weapons to feel safe. We’re armed, we train regularly, and we ARE safe. Only the voluntarily defenseless clamor for someone else to protect them so they feel safe. An illusion, btw, as they’re not.

      • Drunk driving is no threat or deterrent to a leftist regime. Firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens is not merely a threat, it’s a deterrent, an obstacle, a barricade, dare I say, “…A Bulwark Against Tyranny…”. It has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with your personal safety and everything to do with the safety of leftist politicos who want you to pay more for things you don’t agree with. The biggest mass shootings always occur just after gun confiscation. Don’t think for a second that the leftists don’t want to round you up and shoot you, just because you disagree with them. It’s their only play.

        • I’ve come to believe that most leftists, and especially most Democrat voters, don’t actually want to see their fellow Americans rounded up and shot. But enough do. And I’m pretty damn sure that if those nutters ever get enough power to actually cut loose and get the democide on, our “moderate” Democrat fellow citizens won’t lift a finger to stop it.

        • Drunk driving seems to be a sacred leftist pastime. Leave it alone they say, just ask Beta and Ted Kennedy, amongst others.

      • And how many were killed during the same time before they had a chance to leave the safety of their mothers’ wombs and breathe their first breath? “Do it for the children,” the hypocrites cry out!

  1. The “chilling effect” argument will go into effect here. If you’re attempting to disrupt lawful commerce based upon mere differences of opinion on a natural and lawful right, you’re going to step into a Constitutional wall.

    Banks can’t discriminate when it affects society’s ability to conduct commerce. Lawsuits will abound.

  2. “turn that information over to the government, just in case someone is planning a crime.”

    This is blatantly worse than “If you see something, say something”. This is simply “turn it all in and we’ll tell you if we eventually see something.”

    Good grief. Beto was fun to watch for a while when he entered the campaign circus, but now he’s just becoming a clown. Does he even have any supporters left out there in Leftyland?

    • Guesty McGuesterson,

      I believe the credit card companies are already turning over all their data to fedzilla. Absolutely nothing stops them from doing it.

      And you can bet your bottom dollar that fedzilla discretely contacted the credit card companies and said something to the effect of, “Gee, nice business you have there. It would be a shame if something happened to it (such as endless business audits from multiple three-letter federal agencies as well as endless audits of the personal finances of the principals).”

      • LOL…

        Yes! Federal beauracracies have adopted racketeering as their modus operadi.

        Look at how the Mueller investigation was run: extortion, bullying, SWAT raids….

        Yup. That is our government in action.

      • Now where have I seen this movie before? Oh yes…

        “He has created a multitude of offices, and sent forth swarms of officers to harass us and eat out our substance”

      • Doubtful You have just as much an expectation of privacy in your credit card banking records as you do with any other banking record, and the government cannot lawfully look at them without a warrant or subpoena.

    • “This is blatantly worse than “If you see something, say something”. This is simply “turn it all in and we’ll tell you if we eventually see something.””

      Leftists will counter with : “If you’re not doing anything wrong, you will have nothing to worry about.” A standard fascist tactic…

        • Pg(two) = PgII = Gp2

          Same troll, same vaxx nonsense. Gets ban-blocked by TTAG, keeps coming back under a different name.

  3. Let’s ban using credit cards for abortion. Murdering unborn people shouldn’t be a business visa and MasterCard are involved with.

    See how that works?

    • Ban credit card use for political donations. Oh, I’d like to donate to your campaign Beta, but I can’t use my credit card for that!

      • To be fair, giving money to a politician is one of the worst, most stupid, and profoundly immoral things you can do. They take enough by force. There’s no need to give them any more.

        • Unfortunately, it takes money to buy airtime and ads. We saw this on glaring display last year for the CA Governor’s race between Gavin Newsom (D) and John Cox (R). Newsom outspent Cox something like 10-to-1 and completely drowned out Cox’s message to the point where all you could see was Newsom’s face everywhere. Even so, Cox got a whopping 40% of the votes, more than everyone expected. When asked, many fence sitters responded “Cox who?”

          It takes money to get your message out.

        • I understand your sentiment, Napresto, and often feel the same way. But in the end, I agree with Haz. We cannot win a war we do not fund.

          Of course, after our candidate is in office for a while, we begin to wonder how much of a victory that really was. LOL!!!

        • @I Haz & LifeSavor: If I had any confidence at all that the money I donated would be wisely used or result in meaningful improvements of the kind I favor (i.e. drastic limits on the scope and power of government, especially domestically), I’d probably agree with you. You aren’t wrong that modern elections cost a lot of money to win, but they mostly cost a lot of money because modern government is so very worth buying.

          Ours is no longer a government that protects individual freedom and otherwise stays within its limits, it is a government that hands out spoils to electoral winners (and their clients), punishments to electoral losers (and theirs). Oh, I know this has always been true of governments, including our own right from the founding, but with the government now so large and powerful that the rewards and punishments take on extravagant meaning and importance, no wonder elections cost billions of dollars. The stakes are THAT high.

          Well that leaves me with two choices. One: buy into the system, donate, and hope my guy wins, so I get rewarded, not punished. Or two: spitefully decide that politicians of all stripes are lying vermin who perpetuate this system for their own gain, doling out rewards only to keep their clients just happy enough not to turn on them, and doling out punishments in order to keep the other side as powerless as possible.

          The politician I’ll donate to voluntarily will be the one who actually means it when they say they want to make government weak enough that it isn’t worth buying, and I’ll only donate once they show me some actual progress on that front.

  4. Take an honest look at what America’s progressives are progressing toward and how they want to get there, and you’ll see fascism at work. Plain and simple.

    • No, not plain and simple at all. Fascism is the natural blood enemy of all Liberalism, Socialism, Communism and of all Western Democracy as well. While it exists on the ultra-right extreme of the traditional right-left divide, it is in a sense a third way. It borrows from Conservatism but takes such extremes in Nationalism, Militarism, the regimentation of many facets of society to the point of becoming an enemy of most less-right wing conservatives too.

      No Liberal can be a fascist, not without raising an army to attack himself.

      • The Left talks up Socialism/Communism but acts in a Fascist way.

        Combining forces through, and controlling, the Administrative State, academia, social media, and corporations to reach their political goals and stifle opposition and suppressing dissent and free speech that isn’t in-sync with the party line by using violence (Antifa – an oxymoron) has much in common with Mussolini’s Fascism.

        Using their influence over corporations and their control of government to block legal transactions in an effort to suppress individual’s 2nd Amendment rights (Operation Chokepoint, regulatory threats against banks by NJ and NY) is pure Corporatism.

        Maybe the “Left” really isn’t actually liberal by any definition, classical or otherwise, and Socialism is cover. Mussolini did implement a Social Security system (which was copied by FDR).

  5. As a principle, I do not like writing and passing laws to try and solve social problems. While it SOUNDS like a good idea to pass a financial freedom law, it expands government and encourages more law writing.

    I would rather let the marketplace solve this problem. Eventually, some financial institution will say “Golly, look at all the money to be made financing firearms sales”. Just like the Mom and Pop shops are glad to pitch up the business the big-box stores are walking from.

    We would all be a lot better off if the House and Senate would simply adjourn after they pass a budget. “That’s it team! We have funded the government for the next year. Let’s all go home. No new laws this year; we are done. Family time, fun time. Let’s spend time with our constituents, also. The less time we spend here in DC, the less expensive it will be to run the country.”

    • ^^THIS^^

      Remember President Reagan’s famous words back in Aug 1986:

      “The nine most dangerous words in the English language are ‘I’m From The Government And I’m Here To Help'”.

  6. I use only cash to buy guns and ammo, and sometimes gift cards for online gun accessories (mags, optics, holsters). Wife is only privy to paying for going to the range, taking a course and buy safety related stuff, I.e. pistol lock box.

    • I’ve paid with cash my entire life. The only things I’ve bought online have been accessories, and even then I buy in person from a brick and mortar with cash whenever possible.

      But no guns or ammo online or with a CC. Never.

      • And this is why you have likely overpaid for much of your collection. I use the term collection, because I have no idea what you have purchased, nor do I want to know. That is your private business not mine. I do know that if I purchased everything I have with cash from brick and mortar stores, I would have spent several thousands of dollars more than I currently have. Not to mention the expanded options available online. YMMV. I do however, certainly understand your position.

        • Overpaid? Nope. If any of the prices with cash were higher than an online CC sale price, then consider that the “extra” is payment for privacy.


  7. Governments world wide want to get rid of cash. The official reason is usually that it costs too much to make notes and coins.

    The real reasons are tax and control of their subjects. Electronic cash means they know everything you spend and how much they should grab. Plus if you become a “criminal” by thinking or doing something “wrong” you suddenly have no money.

    Recent calls to ban large notes in USA and Australia estimated that 50 to 80 percent of $100 bills are being kept out of banks and used in the grey (no tax) economy. Yes this sounds paranoid but unfortunately it’s accurate.

      • Yes. And then the chip, and when you don’t behave with the chip, you’re punished with loss of food, credit, whatever they deem appropriate.

    • ” hes only an idiot because his base is so incredibly uninformed and dumb ”

      Actually, I think Beto could pass as a stand-alone idiot even if he had no base at all. And he’s pretty close to having no base as it is.

  8. All these politicians wanting to use the financial sector to accomplish what they can’t get through legal or constitutional avenues is absolutely disgusting for one. And two, I’d laugh my butt of if the gun companies announced since politicians wont support them, us or our rights, they refuse to sell any firearms, ammo or accessories to any law enforcement agency or private security employed by these clowns.

  9. Earlier this year, I cut up my 3 Chase Visa cards and sent them to Jamie Dimon. I included a letter that said since Chase was cancelling the accounts of conservative voices like Laura Loomer and several of the Proud Boys, Chase clearly did not want my business either. Because of business travel, I had been putting $30k a year on those cards.

    Two weeks later I received a telephone call from someone who said she was from Dimon’s office. She told me the Executive Committee had received and was aware of my communication.

    Banks care about money.

    I noticed that, within a few weeks, new stories about Chase cutting off conservatives began to fade. My guess is that a lot of folk cut up their cards and wrote letters.

    Banks care about not getting our money.

    • When virtue-signalling starts to really affect the organization and it’s fiscal responsibility, someone is going to be worried.

  10. I never use a card whether credit or debit. The wife does but as far as I know(😄)hasn’t bought anything fun er gun related. She does use a card reader when selling at antique shows as soooo many folks whip out a card. BTW if you want to join the underground economy sell at a flea market😏

    • My brother and one of my sisters each had flea market stands for a few years. Pulled in some good cash, but they worked hard.

      Me, too lazy.

  11. If memory serves me (and often it doesn’t), when you make a purchase with a credit card there is no record of what you bought, only who you bought it from. So, if you buy from LGS, it’s a pretty good guess what you bought (but not a certainty). If you buy from Cabela’s, the credit card company doesn’t know if you bought a pistol or a stack of over-priced clothes.

    Correct me it I’m wrong.

  12. Congressman Luetkemeyer’s bill is aimed to protect the payday lending industry from choke point 2.0. The benefit to the firearms industry is just an extra perk he so he can pander to his constituency.

  13. The left wants to control every aspect of your life. They want to tell you how to spend your money, what to drive, and what to eat. That doesn’t sound like a free country. The sad thing is, they’ve brainwashed the younglings to think this is a good idea.

    • The Democrats and Republicans are two sides of the same bad idea that partisanship is some sort of solution to anything. Both want to control you, just over different theories and in different ways.

  14. Most people use plastic or some kind for a lot of gun related stuff so this is sorta serious.

    OTOH, the only place I’ve ever seen unregistered full autos in the US the sellers were in that ‘cash only’ sort of business for other stuff that the government says you shouldn’t have. Not exactly the sort of business folk I’d want the drive POTG to with regulation.

    But hey, Irish Democracy works too. Go out to buy a 9, come back three hours late with a M16, 12 lbs of crank and 20 sheets of acid… the ‘I sent my husband to the store and…’ stories will be epic.

  15. I would say this o’rook guy reminds of the guy at the end of the table in the gummi bear’s commercial who says I’m going to take this foot and fly it right into my mouth cause it tastes so good. Except for two things : I like gummi bears too much to disrespect them like that, and it would be too hard for o’rook since his head is in his ass.

  16. Good thing there’s Venmo, and PayPal, and Bitcoin, and if we have to we’ll start our own god damned payment system.

    With blackjack, and hookers.

  17. This is not new.
    What is new is that it’s Liberals who are doing it now.
    From 1958.

    “the state issued a subpoena for much of the Association’s records, including bank statements and leases, but most notably the names and addresses of the “agents” or “members” of the Association in Alabama.”

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