Privatized Gun Control: The Civilian Disarmament Industry Wants to Know…What’s In Your Wallet?

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Gun control groups are reviving their effort to not just get inside America’s gun safes but meddle in credit card purchases.

Giffords, the gun control group founded by former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords (D-Ariz.), and GunsDownAmerica, an activist gun control group with links to far-left Washington, D.C., think tanks, are supporting an effort to have credit card companies create special purchasing codes for firearms and ammunition. The idea is that credit card companies would monitor individual purchases by law-abiding citizens and if they seem to out of the norm, those purchases would be reported to law enforcement for investigation.

GunsDownAmerica wants credit card companies to stop categorizing firearm and ammunition purchases as “sporting goods” and create a new code.

That’s also a position that’s being pushed by several New York state lawmakers and Amalgamated Bank, a union-owned bank that’s also helped finance the Democratic National Committee and Political Action Committees including Biden-Harris Democrats, Ready for Hillary (which is Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC), U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Ma.) Warren Democrats and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif) PAC.

Corporate Big Brother

Amalgamated Bank bills itself as a “socially-responsible” bank that’s got over $7.7 billion in assets and nearly $59 billion under management, much of which is tied to union pension funds. When the bank isn’t financing left-wing causes including Occupy Wall Street, it uses the market capital to muscle through liberal policies including climate activism, labor practices and fighting excessive executive salaries, despite the fact that the President and CEO Priscilla Sims Brown rakes in $3.8 million in income.

Sims Brown is the same person who took to the airwaves to push the idea of tracking credit card-based gun and ammunition purchases. Amalgamated Bank sent a request to create the special Merchant Category Codes (MCC) to the International Organization for Standardization in 2021. That request and an appeal were rejected. Another request was made this year and a decision is pending.

This idea is coming from a bank that refuses business with any in the firearm industry. Amalgamated Bank’s idea is that bureaucratic businesses would not just monitor who exercises their Constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights, but also how much and how often an individual chooses to do so. They bill it as a way to help law enforcement identify individuals who might commit horrific atrocities and intervene before they do.

Beyond the Law

What it really is is privatized gun control that runs roughshod over rights and the law. The 1986 Firearm Owners Protection Act forbids the federal government from maintaining a gun registry. Banks are already required to report suspicious activity under the 1970 Banking Secrecy Act and expanded with the Patriot Act. This idea, though, would put that into private hands, building a registry one purchase at a time. The basis for suspicious activity would simply be exercising the pre-existing right to keep and bear arms, which is expressly protected by the Constitution.

New York state lawmakers are interested in the idea. Over four dozen anti gun lawmakers signed a letter to credit card companies MasterCard and American Express urging them to adopt unique MCCs for firearms and ammunition. Currently, they are listed as “specialty retailers” or “sporting goods.” The problem is that guns are purchased for sporting use. Some are purchased for self-defense. Many firearms are used for multiple purposes – including self-defense, recreational shooting sports and hunting.

Rejected Before

This idea isn’t new. A public pressure campaign was attempted in 2018. New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin floated the same notion in February and December of 2018. Visa and MasterCard both rejected the proposals then, adding that monitoring and arbitrating the private purchases of their customers “sets a dangerous precedent.” Visa told Breitbart in 2018, “We do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods and services.”

The idea that capturing credit card purchase data to assist law enforcement isn’t the answer. Dumping data on law enforcement of law-abiding citizens only creates an information morass. It is garbage data when law enforcement has already missed bona fide tips that would have prevented these tragedies.

The FBI admitted it missed taking action on two tips before the tragedy in Parkland, Fla. The murderer in Buffalo, N.Y., was brought in by state police after making threats, yet authorities there took no action even after his own family took away his firearms. The murderer in Uvalde, Texas, posted threats against schools and fellow classmates, yet none were reported to police. And, the murderer in Highland Park was on the radar of law enforcement, yet the local police did not share the information with the Illinois State Police.

This idea isn’t about improving public safety. This proposal is about freezing gun purchases and getting corporate entities to skirt federal laws. This is nothing short of swiping the ability to buy guns legally.


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

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  1. Why is the Unintended Governor screwing around with this.

    Simply sign legislation that bans credit card companies from operating/transacting anywhere in the state, until they can identify and report on every gun/ammo purchase. Credit card companies will instantly find a way to comply.

    • For armed guard protected democRats to stand there in support of backdoor Gun Control they might as well be supporting slave shacks, nooses, concentration camps, gas chambers and other insanity that History confirms Gun Control in any shape matter or form has its roots in.

      Make no mistake about it…It is what happens when pathetic Gun Owners bury their heads in the sand and fail time after time to define Gun Control by its History of Rot.

  2. 2018 may as well have been 100 years ago. This is the post-COVID, post-Trump era and the ties that bind corporations with government have never been stronger nor has the desire of the population to be soundly subjugated by their corporate saviors.

    2018’s “unintended consequences” are 2022’s purpose.

  3. We need a code for porn, prostitution,abortion,alcohol, cigarettes, cigars, chew, cannabis etc. I guess that’s too invasive. Can’t forget bacon and eggs,ice cream, potato chips, contraceptives, steaks. We just want you to be healthy and happy so you can enjoy true democracy. Viva Freedom

    • “We need a code for porn, prostitution,abortion,…”

      Actually, you’re on to something, potentially *huge*.

      There’s a technology earthquake happening right now over high tech and abortion.

      The Leftist Scum ™ are trying to isolate any way that an internet search or ‘app’ looking for an abortion provider could be leveraged by a state government like Texas who wants to prosecute women who are looking for an abortion, citing ‘privacy concerns’.

      Sounds like something that can be leveraged to protect gun rights… 🙂

      • “…like Texas who wants to prosecute women who are looking for an abortion,…”

        You may have things confused. In Texas, the law seeks out abortion providers, not persons seeking abortion. Any tracking would be a means to find abortion providers, so they can be prosecuted.

        To balance things out, big tech is blocking social media postings that lead people to non-abortion counseling services.

  4. Cash. Always. Whenever possible. Seems redundant to mention it, but TPTB are sliding closer toward a CCP-esque social credit system to choke off purchases they don’t approve of due to politically incorrect mindthink.

    • “…to choke off purchases they don’t approve of due to politically incorrect mindthink.”

      If a woman has an inviolate right of privacy to get an abortion, that privacy should extend to all civil rights, including the 2A.

      I think Redneck.45lc just above has stumbled onto something quite useful… 🙂

      • Won’t happen.

        Every time the power goes out in any wider area (hurricane, earthquake, overburdened grid, et al), cash comes into play.

        Every time a business finds its telephony down (Internet, phone line) and cannot process electronic payments, cash comes into play.

        Businesses ranging from small to very large that rely on cash as a significant source of income (farmers markets, mom-and-pop stores, casinos in Las Vegas) will fight to keep cash.

        In my area in Los Angeles County, I’ve noticed a trend over the past couple of years since the start of COVID in which more and more small businesses (gas stations, restaurants, et al) are openly stating they prefer cash. With tight profit margins, those little EFT charges can add up, and avoiding them with the use of direct cash can be a benefit.

        Etc, etc.

      • Moderated again. Taking two weeks off from commenting didn’t make a difference, apparently.

  5. Isn’t this sorta like government control of private business?

    I thought Democrats were against fascism?

    Guess not…


    • “I thought Democrats were against fascism?”

      They are; fascism is any form of inconvenience proposed by non-Dims.

    • “Democrats were against fascism?”

      The democrat party is based on a socialist hitler’esq type of fascism mixed with hints of democracy when such ‘democracy’ serves their purpose. Their platforms are based on a ‘social justice equality except for the ones we don’t like and using one group against another to achieve their goals’ concept. Hitler did the same thing, those that were not of the Aryan race were excluded from participation in German social justice equality and those acceptable Aryan race were used against those not acceptable.

  6. “if they seem to out of the norm, those purchases would be reported to law enforcement for investigation.”

    Which is soooo illegal to do no law enforcement agency in their right mind would consider investigating as a routine matter because its a direct violation of the fourth amendment not to mention an unlawful surveillance.

  7. Call your credit card company and ask if this is a policy of theirs…If it is close your account on the spot..
    But maybe all politicians credit card accounts should be public record…I would like to know when they do salacious and nefarious things….

  8. The response is obvious and easy. We the People of the Gun simply decide that any bank or credit-card system operator that takes any step in this direction will be boycotted by we – the 100 million gun owners. Permanently. Eventually, they will relent. But we will never forget.

    How to do this? It will take some effort on our part, but it can be done.

    We use our Visa or MasterCards to withdraw cash from ATMs. No fee to the card system operator. We revert to paying cash as often as is possible.

    When we have to use our cards at a merchant we use them as Debit-cards, not as Credit-cards. And, when we are low on cash, we request an additional cash-back to re-fill our wallets.

    We apply for cards from card-system operators who do not initiate discriminatory policies against us. If Visa initiates, we apply for MasterCards; or vice-versa. If both Visa and MasterCard initiate we apply for Discover or American Express cards.

    Whichever card system operators are not at the leading edge will notice that they are getting new customers from the heartland; the land of gun owners. How eager will they be to follow suit?

    We need to anticipate that every last card system operator will discriminate against us. Corporate Woke-ism is rampant. We still have the option to go cash-only. Use our cards only at ATM machines and buy only with cash.

    Look at the big picture. Credit-card fees are high. And Debit-card fees are also expensive. What do we get from our fees? Merchants pay these fees, and raise their prices to all customers, cash and card-users alike. We the retail customers are paying these fees. We really ought to re-think the price we are willing to pay for convenience.

    We are NOT motivated by the price we pay in card fees. We still use our cards. Because few (if any) merchants will give us a discount for paying in cash.

    We MIGHT be motivated by our devotion to liberty. The Feds are seriously considering going to a cash-less society so that it will be easy for the banking and card system to track every purchase we make. How much do we want to help them in this endeavor?

    Wouldn’t we be much better off if – TODAY – we make common-cause with our retail merchants of all classes of merchandise? Let’s liberate ourselves from Big-Brother’s surveillance and convenience tax. If we resist the temptation to use our cards the banks and the Feds will take notice. We will not be seduced.

    • I agree with all of this plan. But I must point out that a lot of gun related purchases take place over the internet, which usually requires a credit or debit card. I don’t do this myself, but many do for any number of reasons.

    • “We are NOT motivated by the price we pay in card fees. We still use our cards. Because few (if any) merchants will give us a discount for paying in cash.”

      We use a cash discount program, 4% off for cash, check, or debit with a PIN. Customers younger than 40ish pay nearly exclusively with cards, and will use a debit card if they have one but don’t even blink about paying the fee to swipe a credit card. Half of my age 50+ customers pay with a check, 1/4 with cash, and 1/4 with a debit card. This processing program is becoming more common in my area. I don’t have to pay for your Cabela’s points any more and I haven’t had a single customer walk away because of it. But the point is, younger folks only rarely use cash. They are accustomed to Venmo, Zelle, PayPal, etc. and that will likely be the end of cash before long.

  9. This is absolutely not a problem. At least for me. My bank is full of $100 bills. A few of them belong to me. Most people seem pleased when I hand them a fist full. Especially if it’s a private sale.

    • Until they get home and the wife has her hand out.

      Not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything …

  10. There’s a reason for that old saying, CASH IS KING. This would be a non issue if every gun owner in America dumped credit card companies who tried to enact these communist principles. The people still have the power, if they unite, and act as one to destroy these companies.

  11. It is public knowledge that the fed keeps ALL cell phone data and know about every online purchase of a solvent trap. So bless your heart if you think they’re not already tracking every other firearm related purchase.

    • Fortunately for freedom, the feds are as incompetent and corrupt as every other fascist and/or communist coven of the last 100+ years.

  12. Ever heard of the programmable digital dollar? Brandon is pushing for that. Your employer decided your too fat, cost too much for your insurance, you can’t buy cake and ice cream for your kid’s birthday. They can program what you can spend it on. Going to a cashless society to prevent crime. Too Old there’s nothing in the bill of rights that protects women’s choice to murder their baby. Funny how that my body my choice doesn’t count for experimental drug that doesn’t prevent disease. Repent, turn away from your sin, confess JESUS.

  13. What’s in my wallet made me laugh.
    I’m on Social Security, $14 until Friday.
    If I was just a little closer to the Rio Grande I could swim back and forth then I’d have a lot more, ,,, well benefits anyway .
    Long Live King Biden.

  14. Right wing fascists’ stormtroopers want to control how you spend your money. Oh wait, those are Democrats.

  15. Stores like Academy, Bass Pro, Cabelas, Scheels, and Walmart all sell guns. The first 4 are definitely sporting goods, and Walmart is general merchandise/grocery. Does Dick’s sell any guns now? I haven’t darkened their doorstep in years, but they’d be sporting goods too. If they all get classified as gun stores, you still couldn’t tell a big screen TV, tires, big tent, Yeti cooler, or kamado grill from a shotgun or AR purchase.

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