After Conservative Backlash, Credit Card Companies Backtrack on Tracking Gun Sales.

Matthew C. Woodruff
Gun Store PurchasePhoto byShutterstock

Visa and Mastercard have paused their decision to start categorizing purchases at gun shops. This is a significant win for conservative groups and Second Amendment advocates who felt that tracking gun shop purchases would inadvertently discriminate against legal firearms purchases.

FOX Business had reported that two of the largest public pension funds in the U.S., which are located in California and New York, had put pressure on the country’s largest credit card companies to adopt separate sales codes for gun sales.

Back in November, Visa had announced plans to adopt the International Organization for Standardization’s special merchant code for gun sales. Merchant category codes are not exclusive to gun store sales, codes now exist for nearly every type of purchase, including those at supermarkets, clothing stores, coffee shops and other retailers.

The new codes would be used to track the type of store where a card is used, not specific items that are purchased. The code will not detail if a firearm, ammo, holster, gun safe, etc. was bought, only that something was purchased at a gun store.

American Express explained that the codes would help in ensuring that the right controls are in place to meet regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities, as well as prevent illegal activity.

An NRA spokesperson said that the decision to create a firearm specific code is a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time.

Code advocates had hoped the new purchase codes would help keep track of the guns and ammo sold in retail stores across the U.S. and in some way help curb the lack of gun sale accountability that leads to the more than 110 daily gun deaths in the U.S.

About the writer: Matthew Woodruff is an Independent Journalist and Author who believes in Freely Accessible, Honest and Open Reporting. Visit at

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Matthew is an independent journalist, an internationally award-winning author best known for Dark Humor/Lite Horror/Supernatural short stories, as well as an ordained minister who served as a domestic missionary. He is a lover of the unusual, travel, cats and the spark that makes people tick. Matthew is based in Florida, USA.

Gainesville, FL

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