While credit card companies succumbed to the pressure to track gun sales, it’s unlikely anyone thought there would be a lack of criticism of the move.
Obviously, I have opinions on the matter.
However, I’m far from the only one. The NRA is taking issue with this as well:
Gun-control activists say the new code will help track large or suspicious weapons purchases, while gun rights advocates argue that the new code is unfair to those buying firearms legally since it tracks the type of merchant — stigmatizing all gun shop purchases — not the actual items purchased, Mint reported.
“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,” a spokesman for the National Rifle Association said in a statement Sunday.
“This is not about tracking or prevention or any virtuous motivation — it’s about creating a national registry of gun owners,” the spokesman continued.
The payment giants’ decision follows the approval on Friday of the new merchant code by the International Organization for Standardization, a group of standards bodies from more than 160 countries.
Not mentioned is how anti-gun politicians essentially demanded this happen–demands which essentially constitute a threat to regulate if those demands aren’t met.
And, of course, the NRA is right about one of the big problems with the new codes. It simply records what kind of store we’re talking about here, not what they bought. Buying a load of camping equipment from Bass Pro Shops will look just like buying guns and ammo, for example.
Gun stores sell a whole lot more than guns–including t-shirts, etc. And what about pawn shops? They sell everything, but most also sell guns.
Further, the NRA is also right about this likely being part of an attempt to establish a national gun registry. If they know people are frequenting gun stores, they’ve got a good idea of who owns guns.
That’s not something that literally anyone should be comfortable with, though I know plenty of people who are.
Now, here’s the even worse news: Despite the NRA’s criticisms, it’s unlikely that anything will be able to change this decision. ISO isn’t a purely American entity, for example. It’s affiliated with a number of member nations, which means pressure from American lawmakers isn’t likely to be enough. Not with so many anti-gun nations out there.
This is what we’re basically stuck with.
So there will be a lot of concern going forward. There will be a lot of discussions. There will be folks concerned about not being tracked by their credit card companies and having their lawful, innocent purchases reported to the government.
We’ll find ways around it. I’m personally suggesting, where possible, to use the cash advance feature of your card and use that money to buy your firearm. No, it’s not great financial sense. I know that. But the higher interest may be a small price to pay for your freedom.
This is, unfortunately, the new world for us. After years of worrying about the government tracking gun sales, it seems we now have to worry about our financial institutions doing so as well.