Reports this week that Visa is planning to begin coding purchases made at legal gun retailers separate from other types of transactions have alarmed Second Amendment advocates because of concerns that the technology will be misused by the government.
Even though radical leftists who want to disarm law-abiding Americans have been blocked by Republicans in Congress and recent decisions by the Supreme Court, they have become more aggressive at the state level and through corporate regulation.
Congressional Democrats have been unable to repeal the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, enacted during the George W. Bush administration in 2005. That law protects firearms manufacturers from frivolous lawsuits like those brought by trial lawyers against gun makers because a criminal used one of their guns to harm someone.
If that law is repealed, the political left will certainly attempt to litigate firearms companies out of business.
Anti-gun activists have also worked very hard to come up with ways to establish an American gun registry. The most dangerous current legislative strategy is to get federal expanded background check requirements passed.
The announcement that Visa will begin flagging gun store purchases is yet another method for developing a gun registry without passing any new laws. Visa will adopt a new merchant code designated by the International Organization for Standardization to change coding of gun store sales from “general merchandise” to a firearms-specific tag.
Washington Times reporter Kerry Picket wrote this week that gun rights organizations are “blasting the major credit-card companies over their plan to distinguish gun purchases in their payment processors, panning the idea as a step toward a database of U.S. gun owners.
A major concern is that the data accumulated by Visa will lead law enforcement to track innocent sales that they might claim raise suspicions about possible mass shooting events.
The National Rifle Association said that the change in the merchant coding 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.” The NRA statement said that the true purpose of the change is not about a “virtuous motivation” but is simply an end-around for creating a gun registry.
Gun Owners of America spokesman Erich Pratt predicted that the gun sales data will not stay with the credit card processors. He said “the mob will only demand more,” leading to the point where protected legal transactions will be either flagged by the government or outright blocked.
Recent abuses by the FBI that have been reported are sure to put even more Americans on alert to the left’s attempt to use corporatism to avoid the legislative process to undermine the Second Amendment.