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Senate Republicans are calling on major credit card companies to rescind the decision to separate purchases from gun stores into a separate category.

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Senator Roger Marshall, of Kansas, is leading a group of 12 GOP senators who are demanding that Visa, Mastercard and American Express executives monitor gun store sales. The companies recently announced that they will be applying a new ISO trade category code for gun store sales. Operations in firearms stores were formerly referred to as “general merchandise”.

In a letter obtained exclusively by FOX Business, Republican lawmakers argue that compliance with the trade code could lead to the opening of a black gun control registry affecting law-abiding firearm owners.

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“Already welcomed by radical anti-gun activists, this decision is the first step towards covert gun control for law-abiding Americans,” the senators wrote to the CEOs. “Any change designed to affect the ability of a citizen of the United States to legally purchase a firearm belongs to Congress, not to payment networks, international standard-setting organizations, or financial institutions that some of you serve.”


Trade category codes are not exclusive to gun store sales, as codes exist for almost every type of purchase, including supermarkets, clothing stores, cafes, etc. other retailers.

But the codes only identify the type of merchant that uses a credit or debit card, not specific items. This means that an item such as a gun safe, for example, could be labeled as a major purchase at a gun store because it can be purchased for thousands of dollars.

“Due to the nature of the information collected from merchants when processing a transaction, you will have no way of knowing what is being bought; therefore, the alleged benefits of detecting suspicious purchases do not match face value,” the Republicans wrote. “Given this, it is clear that these changes are being promoted for much more nefarious reasons, and this is likely only the first step when there are calls to stop processing arms sales altogether in the near future.”

According to the letter, ISO is a voluntary organization that cannot unilaterally prescribe the way business is done.

“To be perfectly clear, your hand is not imposed,” the lawmakers wrote. “Creating a new trading code for gun transactions is a choice each of your companies makes. You’re choosing to side with gun control over the privacy and Second Amendment rights of millions of law-abiding Americans.”

“You have chosen to intervene in this political debate, which should only take place in the polls and in Congress, and in doing so, you make it clear that you are more than impartial network operators seeking to maximize value for their customers and shareholders. You yourself have become anti-gun activists, voluntarily or unwittingly,” they continued.


Multiple credit cards

Republicans have told CEOs that Congress will have no choice but to stand up for law-abiding American gun owners if their companies insist on tracking gun store sales.

Senators also required credit card companies to answer a number of questions related to the new gun store purchase labeling, including their understanding of the ISO process, how they contributed to ISO, coordinating with outside organizations such as activist organizations or politicians like this one. the information will be used to stop suspicious sales of firearms and how the financial privacy of law-abiding customers will be maintained.

Gun control activists say a separate category for gun store sales will help track suspicious sales of firearms that could potentially lead to mass shootings. A week before the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida in 2016, a gunman purchased more than $26,000 worth of weapons and ammunition using credit cards.

New York City officials pressured ISO and banks to adopt a new gun shop sales code.

Sale of weapons

“These credit card companies must now take the next step and flag suspicious arms and ammunition transactions just as they do for fraud and money laundering,” New York State Attorney General Letitia James said in a recent tweet. “Working together and using the tools at our disposal, we will help protect our communities and save lives.”

The senators’ letter comes just days after Republicans in the House of Representatives sent credit card companies a similar request for answers about tracking gun store sales.

“A gun control advocate may view any desire to own or acquire a firearm as suspicious in itself,” members of the House of Representatives wrote at the time. “Instead, this is a transparent attempt to limit the exercise of constitutionally protected rights and circumvent existing legal restrictions on the government’s creation of firearms registries.”