Visa Pledges to Track Transactions at Firearms Stores

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  • Visa intends to begin categorizing sales at gun shops separately to track illegal firearm purchases.
  • Last Friday, the International Organization for Standardization voted on a measure that will allow credit card companies to track transactions at firearm dealers.
  • The National Rifle Association argued that tracking sales at gun stores would unfairly target legal gun purchases.

On Saturday, Visa Inc., one of the largest payment processors in the world, announced that it intends to begin categorizing sales at gun shops separately, marking a significant victory for gun control advocates.

Visa confirmed that it would implement the new merchant code for gun purchases issued on Friday by the International Organization for Standardization. Visa said in a statement:

Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with the next steps while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network following our long-standing rules.

Before the enactment of the merchant code, gun sales were under the general merchandise category. Visa’s acceptance will probably pressure other financial institutions that issue credit and debit cards, like Mastercard and American Express, to follow suit.

Previously, the US Congress sent letters to the leaders of major credit card companies, urging them to use their clout to support tracking transactions at firearm dealers, given the rise of sporadic shootings in the U.S. recently.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams celebrated the news of the new rule, saying, “This is a smart, common-sense measure that will track suspicious gun and ammunition sales, saving lives and making our cities safer.”

However, Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, argued that tracking sales at gun stores would unfairly target legal gun purchases. In his words, “the industry’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.”

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