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Utah Governor Spencer Cox has signed a bill into law, spearheaded by Rep. Cory Maloy and sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Chris Wilson, that aims to protect the privacy of gun owners by prohibiting financial institutions in the state from using a specific credit card merchant code for tracking these purchases. This legislation, House Bill 406 (HB406), directly responds to concerns over privacy and the potential for unwarranted surveillance of gun owners in the state.

The legislation defines a “firearms code” as merchant category code 5723, a designation approved in September 2022 by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), specifically for firearms retailers. HB406’s provisions prevent financial entities, including credit card networks, from assigning or requiring the use of this code for transactions involving firearms, accessories, ammunition, or reloading supplies. Furthermore, Utah firearms retailers are barred from providing such a code to financial entities for the purpose of selling firearms-related items.

The state attorney general is empowered under the new law to enforce these provisions and impose civil penalties for violations. This move by Utah, which will become effective May 1, aligns with similar laws passed in Mississippi, Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, and Florida during the 2023 legislative session. Indiana signed a similar bill into law this month as well.

These legislative efforts have led major credit card payment networks to “pause” the implementation of the firearms merchant code, citing “inconsistency” in how the code could be applied across various jurisdictions.

Critics of the merchant category code argue that its use could enable the federal government to circumvent existing laws and build databases on gun owners, potentially infringing on individuals’ rights and privacy. The Tenth Amendment Center highlights the risks associated with the creation of such databases, including the potential for misuse by unauthorized entities, as evidenced by the Taliban’s reported use of a U.S. government-created firearm ownership database in Afghanistan.

Deseret News further elaborated on the Utah legislation’s implications, noting the voluntary nature of the ISO’s code 5723 and the existing legal framework that prevents the federal government from tracking firearms purchases beyond initial background checks. The new law, according to proponents, is designed to prevent the federal government from exploiting the merchant code to conduct unwarranted surveillance on lawful gun owners.

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  1. If not for the weather I would have retired to Utah.

    But shoveling snow at my age is not appealing. But I visit there at least once a year. And I always stock up on ammo.

    • skied (apparently skiied is also acceptable…) alta once, helluva bargain compared to vail/ beaver creek/ copper mt.
      weird stuff, another state owned likka sto dealio, only 3.2 at the shit n git. order cocktail at restaurant you get mixer w/ airplane bottle, you open and pour. taverns are “clubs,” you keep a bottle there in a locker the server controls and he brings you ice and mixer. they have a trough for out of towners and guests.
      my buddy goes out to moab with the tw200 (like a vanvan) club. says it’s great riding. i’m not too far behind.

      • When I lived in WV they had clubs and state stores. The hard booze was sold in stores owned by the state. No alcohol, including beer was sold on Sunday.

        The clubs required that you be a member. Membership was free. They sold by the drink. You could not buy a bottle.

        Pretty silly rules but it was their way. I mostly drank at the VFW and American Legion. It was cheaper there.

  2. I just purchased a new Ruger Mini-14 Tactical. Read GB model. Cash. Please, spare the A-Team jokes. I’ve heard them all. The first time I tried to watch that show I didn’t make it to the first commercial break. My only thought was that George Peppard had fallen a long way since the Blue Max.

  3. They track everything, not just gunms, and Senator Youcantdothat has no say so in the matter.
    Bringing your cell phone inside the gunm shop ain’t so smart either. Ping Ping is a thing.
    I put my spy device in a tin box, faraday cage on the cheap.
    Its getting harder using cash only, the system is forcing us to use credit cards. I’m fcked, I refuse to get a credit card.
    If landlines were reasonably priced I’d put this cell phone in a styrofoam container and send it down the river.
    Internet is enjoyable and used to be a place to acquire knowledge but I can live without it, especially the information it gathers on my privacy.

    • Insist that they apply the following code – 3825633 – to any item that you purchase and don’t want tracked and the credit card. companies get the message.

      • I hade to use my phone dial to decode that one… maybe we could use 62947 to foil the ” moderation cops ”
        I usually use cash or trade for my firearms related acquisitions.

    • We need a citizens database to keep track of every fascist, communist, nazi or jihadi politician and journalist who works against the Constitution.


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