Banks Increasingly Back Political Scheme To Track Gun Purchases by Credit Card
The first credit card processor to announce plans to track purchases at gun shops is Discover Financial Services. The company hints that its competitors, specifically Visa, MasterCard, and American Express, are on the same schedule to implement a controversial gun-specific merchant category code announced last year. Given that the ideologically charged bank behind the new code has big plans for targeting gun purchases you can expect more fireworks to follow.
“Discover Financial Services, a provider of credit cards, told Reuters it will allow its network to track purchases at gun retailers come April, making it the first among its peers to publicly give a date for moving ahead with the initiative, which is aimed at helping authorities probe gun-related crimes,” the news service reports. “Discover’s announcement came after the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which decides on the classification of merchant categories used by payment cards, approved in September the launch of a dedicated code for gun retailers.”
Merchant category codes (MCCs) are an IRS-developed scheme for tracking transactions. Behind the push for the gun-specific merchant category code is Amalgamated Bank, which boasts that it “supports sustainable organizations, progressive causes, and social justice.” It’s basically a political operation that uses its presence in the financial industry to advance political goals, and it joined with Democratic politicians to urge adoption of the new MCC. Why? Because at a time when everything is politicized, an ability to monitor buying and selling is enormously important to those who want to restrict or control whole areas of life.
“We all have to do our part to stop gun violence and it sometimes starts with illegal purchases of guns and ammunition,” Priscilla Sims Brown, president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank, gloated when the ISO approved the new category code last September. “The new code will allow us to fully comply with our duty to report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales to authorities without blocking or impeding legal gun sales.”
When the code was approved, firearms-specific payment firm GunTab warned that it was a step towards filing government-mandated Suspicious Activity Reports with the authorities on gun purchases.
“Your bank files a Suspicious Activity Report with your name for every day your cash activity exceeds $10k,” the company noted. “Anti-gun advocates want to apply this same ambiguous approach toward preventing gun violence.”
It didn’t take long for advocates of the code to confirm that suspicion.
“Banks are developing technology to identify potential mass shooters, according to a CEO backing the push to get credit-card companies to more closely track gun purchases,” Bloomberg reported la
Article from Reason.com