Visa and Mastercard Back Down From Plan to Track Firearm Purchases 

In early March, Visa and Mastercard announced their decision to stop plans to use a new merchant code to keep tabs on gun purchases. 

Per a WAFB report, Mastercard and Visa’s pivot is “a significant win for conservative groups and Second Amendment advocates who felt that tracking gun shop purchases would inadvertently discriminate against legal firearm purchases.”

Earlier in March, Discover card announced plans to start tracking firearm and ammunition purchases in April. In a report by Reuters, Discover Financial Services announced in February 2023 that Discover would allow its network to keep tabs on purchases at gun stores starting in April, making it the first among credit card companies to publicly provide a date for rolling out this initiative, “which is aimed at helping authorities probe gun-related crimes.”

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved the code for tracking firearm purchases back in September 2022. An ISO representative stated, “The decision to use the new merchant category code is eventually left up to the users in the industry.”

Corporate gun control must be held in check if we want to fully preserve the Second Amendment. Private and public sector actors can both be threats to our freedoms, which necessitates strong state action to keep these pernicious forces in line. We can no longer afford to put the private sector on a pedestal. 

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