Major credit card companies will begin assigning a special merchant code to firearms purchases in the US.
Purchases can be tracked, and those that are deemed “suspicious” can then be reported to law enforcement, according to the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
The ISO voted in favor of using a merchant code for firearms, according to Reuters.
Sept 9 (Reuters) – An international standards body has approved creation of a merchant code for gun retailers, a representative said on Friday, following pressure from activists who say it will help track suspicious weapons purchases.
At a meeting this week, a subcommittee of the International Organization for Standardization approved what is known as a “merchant category code” for firearms stores, a spokeswoman said.
The decision by the Geneva-based nonprofit was long sought by advocates of tighter gun regulation, such as U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats including New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
It clears the way for banks that process gun retailers’ payments to decide whether to assign the new code to merchants. The code would help monitors track where an individual spends money, but would not show what specific items were purchased.
The codes were requested of the Swiss body known as ISO by Amalgamated Bank (AMAL.O) of New York, which calls itself a socially responsible lender and investor.
In a statement, Amalgamated Chief Executive Priscilla Sims Brown said the codes will allow financial institutions to use new tools to detect and report suspicious activity associated with gun trafficking and mass shootings, without impeding legal gun sales.
It’s unclear exactly how this latest infringement on our constitutional right to bear arms will actually help stop the illegal sales of guns or what would constitute “suspicious” gun purchases.
Stephen Gutowski, a gun safety instructor and founder/editor of the Reload, weighed in on Twitter: