Business & Lobbying

These are the lawmakers who have led calls criticizing credit card giants for tracking gun purchases

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Republican lawmakers are decrying credit card companies such as Visa, American Express and Mastercard for tracking gun purchases after the industry giants announced they would separately categorize firearm sales.

Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), the chairwoman of the House Republican Conference, led calls last week demanding answers from the credit card companies, sending them a letter that was signed by 100 GOP lawmakers.

Gun control activists have long demanded the credit card giants establish a merchant category code (MCC) for firearm purchases, arguing it would be a commonsense policy for tracking gun and ammunition purchases. MCCs exist for nearly every kind of purchase, but gun purchases were previously categorized as general merchandise.

This month, the International Organization for Standardization, a global nongovernmental coalition, approved the creation of a firearm MCC before the credit card companies made the decision.

Here are the GOP lawmakers leading the efforts to get answers from Visa, Mastercard and American Express, the world’s largest credit card companies.

Stefanik

The New York lawmaker said she was “adamantly opposed to this attempt to track the information of law-abiding gun owners” in a statement last week.

“As Far Left gun grabbing politicians seek to further erode our Constitution, I’m working to ensure credit card companies are not aiding in their anti-Second Amendment agenda,” the GOP leader said.

Stefanik and fellow House Republicans argue the move has violated the Second Amendment and that prior efforts to authorize firearm-specific codes for gun purchases have failed.

They also questioned how “suspicious” sales would be labeled.

“This is a transparent attempt to chill the exercise of constitutionally protected rights and to circumvent existing legal restrictions on the creation of firearm registries by the government,” the letter reads.

Brian Babin

Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) penned a letter to the credit card companies this week, suggesting the decision to categorize the sales would allow banks to restrict purchases and could lead to an erosion of Second Amendment rights.

“This is not the solution. We demand you to reverse your decision to adopt any new firearms tracking code and prioritize the privacy of law-abiding gun,” Babin wrote.

The lawmaker also said law-abiding gun owners who purchase firearms for hunting and competition shooting would be unfairly impacted by the decision.

Josh Hawley

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) wrote a letter last week to the heads of Visa, Mastercard and American Express, saying “this new system is ripe for abuse” and that categorizing firearm sales would impact minority groups.

Hawley mentioned how conservatives were blocked from donating on crowdfunding platform GoFundMe to the Canadian “Freedom Convoy” truckers earlier this year.

“Americans have had enough of massive companies using their market power to drive ordinary people out of the public square,” Hawley wrote. “These practices must end.”

Roger Marshall

Sen. Roger Marshall (Kan.) sent a letter last week with 12 of his GOP colleagues in the Senate, raising questions about the tracking of gun sales.

Marshall and his colleagues argued the International Organization for Standardization is a voluntary organization and that the companies’ hand was not “being forced” to categorize gun sales.

The senators also warned the MCC classification would create a “backdoor gun control law.”

“It is clear that these changes are being pushed for much more nefarious reasons, and is likely only step one with calls for declining to process gun sales altogether coming in the near future,” the letter reads. “You have become antigun activists yourselves, wittingly or no.”

Tags American Express Brian Babin Brian Babin credit card purchases Elise Stefanik Elise Stefanik firearm tracking gun rights gun sales gun tracking gun violence Josh Hawley Josh Hawley Mastercard Missouri New York Roger Marshall Roger Marshall second amendment Texas Visa
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