WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a letter sent Tuesday, 23 State Attorneys General – all Republicans – issued a stern warning to multiple credit card companies not to proceed with a plan to identify retail firearm purchases made with their cards by assigning them with a specific code and category.
Companies such as Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are planning on adopting the new identifying code system in order to track firearm sales, and according to a draft of the letter, the 23 AGs in question – led by Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudson – are claiming that the move will infringe upon the constitutional rights of gun owners.
“Categorizing the constitutionally protected right to purchase firearms unfairly singles out law-abiding merchants and consumers alike,” the letter says. “We will marshal the full scope of our lawful authority to protect our citizens and consumers from unlawful attempts to undermine their constitutional rights.”
When implemented, the new system will establish Merchant Category Codes (MCCs) set by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which will create a specific sales category for firearms so as to be able to easily identify them.
Some argue that MCCs will essentially circumvent federal laws that forbid the creation of a national gun registry.
The new code system to track firearm sales was encouraged by the Attorneys General of California and New York, who requested the change after the Supreme Court ruled against a New York law in June that placed requirements for concealed-carry permits that were deemed “unconstitutional.”
In addition to the 23 AG who signed the letter, it is also backed by 100 House Republicans, who sent their own separate letter to Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, insisting that they provide answers for why they are implementing the tracking system.