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Gun Rights Group Slam Credit Card Companies for Tracking Gun Purchases With Special Codes

With the goal of “building a national register of gun owners,” the National Rifle Association is criticizing the credit card industry’s latest attempt to keep track of gun transactions. The issue is with the credit card companies  using coding to track purchases at US gun shops, alleging it is building a national registry of gun owners.

The International Standards Organization (ISO), which establishes regulations for the financial services sector, decided on Friday to develop a new merchant category code for merchants of firearms and ammunition. The NRA is protesting this decision. Democrats in Congress who support the adoption of such a code have increased their pressure on credit card firms, which led to ISO’s decision. Gun control activists support the credit card companies, which include Mastercard, Visa, and American Express.

Without mentioning the specific item purchased, merchant category codes are four-digit numbers that identify the retailer where a purchase is made. The codes enable credit-card issuers to track and limit purchases, for as by giving rewards credit cards that provide bonus points for trip purchases or cash-back on supermarket purchases.

The National Rifle Association said in a statement, “The ISO’s decision to create a firearm specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time.” “This is not about tracking or prevention or any virtuous motivation — it’s about creating a national registry of gun owners.”


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