FPC: Credit card companies should ignore Gascon's request

(AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

Credit cards and debit cards are the preferred way for most people to buy just about anything off the internet. I know that’s my go-to, primarily because most vendors don’t do online checks and, even if they do, I don’t exactly have my bank’s routing number memorized.


However, as noted earlier this week, LA District Attorney George Gascon wants credit card companies (who also handle debit transactions) to block the purchase of so-called ghost gun kits.

Yeah, that’s going over like a fart in church.

The Firearms Policy Coalition has some issues with that.

Whether Gascón is ignorant or simply doesn’t care, the fact is that it is not only lawful to self-manufacture arms for personal use, but doing so has been part of the American tradition since before its founding. The U.S. Supreme Court has already ruled that the Second Amendment protects all arms in common use for lawful purposes, and self-made firearms, like all firearms, are overwhelmingly built and possessed by law-abiding people for self-defense and other lawful purposes.

FPC has and will continue to pursue all litigation options to defend and restore the right to self-manufacture firearms and other protected weapons. Executive leadership at American Express, Visa, and Mastercard should not bow to a politician in a political-career death spiral who is on the wrong side of the Constitution and history.

The FBC is obviously right and I agree that credit card companies should do everything they can to resist people like Gascon who is trying to shift the blame for Los Angeles’ violent crime issues onto the companies.

However, I don’t think they have any reason to cave.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they’re some bastion of freedom in this nation holding the line on our Second Amendment rights. I just don’t think they can comply.


All a credit card company sees when you make a purchase is where you’re buying from. They know your mailing address, of course, but they don’t see much of anything else when you buy something. They don’t need to. All they need to know is how much the total is and then how much you have available to cover that purchase.

That’s it.

I really don’t think they actually know who all sells homemade firearm kits, nor can they track whether you’re buying that or something that’s lawful in Los Angeles. (It should be noted that unserialized firearms are illegal in Los Angeles.)

At the end of the day, I’m with the FPC on this 100 percent, but I also think the best bulwark against Gascon’s efforts is the simple logistics of credit card companies not being able to comply.

I mean, you can order prescription drugs over the internet without a prescription and use a credit card for that, something illegal in all 50 states. And these are sites that sell nothing but illegal drugs. If they’re not clamping down on that, I doubt they’re in a position to stop purchases that are lawful in most of the nation just because a DA who can’t do his job asked them to.

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