Bill To Stop Credit Card Tracking Of Gun Sales In Wyoming Advances

A bill to ban credit card companies from tracking firearms purchases in Wyoming was passed by the state Senate on Friday. It could prevent what amounts to a federal gun registry, supporters say.

Mark Heinz

February 26, 20244 min read

Frontier Arms and Supply owner Ryan Allen, right, conducts a credit card transaction with a customer Monday at the Cheyenne gun shop.
Frontier Arms and Supply owner Ryan Allen, right, conducts a credit card transaction with a customer Monday at the Cheyenne gun shop. (Greg Johnson, Cowboy State Daily)

Financial institutions tracking firearms sales amounts to totalitarianism, said a supporter of a legislative bill to ban that practice in Wyoming.

“It’s just another communist way of controlling us,” Dave James, who works at Rocky Mountain Discount Sports in Riverton, told Cowboy State Daily.

However, Brady Stingley, who works at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Riverton, said he’s yet to hear a customer complain about retail tracking codes on gun purchases.

“People use their debit cards and credit cards all the time in the gun department,” he told Cowboy State Daily. “I haven’t heard anybody say that they’re worried about it.”

The Wyoming Senate on Friday passed Senate File 105, with no objections or debate on the floor, meaning it will next go before the Wyoming House.

The measure would prohibit credit card companies and other financial institutions from attaching a specific credit card product code to gun purchases.

Terror Prevention, Or Gun Registry?

“In September 2022, the world's three (3) largest payment card networks publicly announced they would assign a unique merchant category code to firearms retailers accepting payment cards for purchases, after twenty eight (28) members of Congress sent a public letter to networks, pressuring them to adopt the new code,” the bill’s text reads in part.

That was done under the auspices of giving federal agencies better information for countering the financing of terrorist activities. But according to the bill, it amounts to an invasion of Wyoming gun owners’ privacy.

James said he agrees that information about what people buy from his store’s gun counter shouldn’t be put into the financial information pipeline.

It could become a de facto federal gun registry, which many in Wyoming adamantly oppose, he said.

When people buy a firearm from a licensed dealer, they must fill out a form that is used for a background check through the FBI. In a matter of minutes, the FBI uses the information on the form to see if prospective gun buyers have any record of felony convictions or other violations that would disqualify them from possessing a firearm.

So, doesn’t that mean the feds already have gun records on gun owners?

Yes, James said, but those forms are tightly controlled and don’t go beyond records kept by the store, which is not the case with credit card tracking codes.

Those can go out into the wider world, which James said makes him nervous, and he’s heard some of his customers express similar misgivings.

“I really do think it’s just another way of trying to control us,” he said.

Still Uses Credit Cards

At Frontier Arms and Supply in Cheyenne, owner Ryan Allen said some customers seem concerned about having their credit card purchases tracked.

“We’ve had people come in and, when they use credit cards, they’ll ask, ‘Is there any kind of tracing or popping up on anyone’s list because I used the credit card?’” Allen said. “We say no.”

But if it were a worry, he said it wouldn’t necessarily discourage people from buying guns. “They’d just use cash,” he said.

He favors the bill and hopes it passes.

“In Wyoming, absolutely,” Allen said. “If there was a law outlawing that, I’d absolutely support that.”

Firearms enthusiast Nic George said he still plans on continuing to buy guns with credit cards and isn’t overly concerned about the companies having that information.

He recognizes the wisdom behind SF 105, but also questions how effective Wyoming’s tiny population might be in pressuring gigantic financial corporations, which could possibly just stop doing business here.

“For Wyoming, is the juice worth the squeeze?” he said.

Besides, any attempted gun seizures in a state as Second Amendment friendly as Wyoming probably wouldn’t have any chance of succeeding, George added.

Mark Heinz can be reached at

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Mark Heinz

Outdoors Reporter