Gun Advocate Fears Feds Behind Credit Cards Tracking Gun Sales; ATF & FBI Won’t Comment

A Gun Owners of America spokesman on Tuesday told Cowboy State Daily he fears the federal government will use a new credit card system tracking gun sales. The ATF and FBI would not comment.

Clair McFarland

September 14, 20224 min read

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(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

A gun-rights advocate in Wyoming fears that federal agencies will access credit-card companies’ new tracking system for gun sales – but two federal police bureaus aren’t commenting yet.   

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) on Friday announced that major credit card companies will soon have a specific transaction code for gun vendors.   

Gun vendors currently appear under a code for “sporting goods” or “miscellaneous” in credit card records.   

The measure will allow credit card companies to track gun and ammunition sales, and flag suspicious purchases to law enforcement.   

Neither the companies nor the ISO have yet announced the criteria for “suspicious” purchases.  

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express announced last week they will soon be implementing the code. Multiple Democratic members of Congress had promoted the system this summer.   

Gathering Information  

Mark Jones, Wyoming spokesman for Gun Owners of America, told Cowboy State Daily on Monday that there’s a real potential for government oversight of the newly-categorized gun sales.   

“This is part of a pattern of behavior,” said Jones. “The Biden Administration has been keeping an illegal gun registry for years.” Jones referenced a Gun Owners of America report on the Bureau for Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’ (ATF) use of a federal background-check list relating to gun sales.   

The report was compiled following public-information requests by Gun Owners of America, Fox News reported.   

“This just sort of fits with that,” said Jones. “It’s an attempt to gather more information about law-abiding people.”   

Jones said society is inching closer toward a normalization of gun seizure.   

“The ultimate goal of the Left is to confiscate firearms,” said Jones. “When you said that 10 years ago, people said ‘Oh that will never happen.’ But people don’t say (that) anymore, because of the things that have been happening slowly.”    

Jones said he was not yet sure whether the Gun Owners of America may take legal action over the firearms codes.   

‘Unable To Comment’  

The ATF declined Tuesday to discuss its investigative methods.    

“The merchant category code for a business has no bearing on how we investigate potential criminal offenses,” said Erik Longnecker, deputy chief of the ATF’s Public Affairs Decision in a Tuesday email to Cowboy State Daily. “We are unable to comment on the investigative methods and procedures used during our criminal investigations though.”  

Longnecker in a separate email said the ATF was “not involved” in issuing the new code specific to firearms retailers. He referred Cowboy State Daily to the International Organization for Standardization board (ISO), which approved the new code.   

The ISO did not respond Tuesday morning to an email requesting comment.   

The FBI, another federal policing agency, also did not respond Tuesday morning to a request for comment.   

‘The Wrong Hands’  

Gun-control group Everytown for Gun Safety told Cowboy State Daily in a statement that the new code could prevent mass shootings.   

“This new policy is a fitting tribute to the victims of mass shootings in Aurora, Las Vegas, and Orlando, all of which were perpetuated by domestic terrorists who bought tens of thousands of dollars worth of guns on credit without a single flag being raised,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Now it’s vital that merchants and banks implement this code swiftly, before more guns end up in the wrong hands.”   

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Clair McFarland

Crime and Courts Reporter