Credit cards tracking gun sales

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) — Credit card companies will adopt new sales codes only for gun and ammunition stores.

From flashlights to cameo clothing, Jim’s Firearms customers buy more than guns and ammunition.

“You have people coming in just to watch and see what’s new, and someone can grab a jacket on the way out, there are a lot of different reasons why people come,” says Dillon McClain who is one of the managers of Jim’s Firearms.

A new change coming from the International Organization for Standardization allows credit card companies to implement a new sales code only for gun and ammunition stores.

“It struck me as odd, I didn’t really understand how or why the credit card companies were going to meddle in what people were buying,” McClain adds.

Each retail item has a merchant category code. In the past, everything someone bought at a gun shop fell under general merchandise and sporting goods. From now on, purchases will fall under a new code.

Those who support gun control think it’s a good change because it will allow someone to be tracked if they buy an unusual amount of guns, but others disagree.

“My first reaction is not surprised, it’s been a hell of a fight to see people’s rights being more and more violated,” said Kris Ford, co-owner of Ford’s Firearms.

Ford says most of the guns they sell are historical memorabilia. Ford thinks this new code could be misleading for credit card companies.

“Here they can buy an item and make $5-6000, they can buy as much ammo as they want. They can buy a really nice collectible that they may never shoot,” adds Ford.

We have contacted the three credit companies that will adopt this new change, Visa, American Express and Mastercard.

Mastercard provided WAFB with this statement: We would share the same comment that was offered to others on Friday following the ISO decision:

We understand and appreciate the important political imperative to reduce gun violence and see recent bipartisan action in Congress as a positive step. We believe that it is this type of effort that will make it possible to effectively combat the tragic armed violence that the country is facing.

We also value our place in the community, so we explored what contributions we could make to solve problems while staying true to the principles that govern our network.

With ISO’s approval of the proposed MCC, we are now focusing on how it will be implemented by merchants and their banks as we continue to support legal purchases on our network while protecting privacy and decisions of individual cardholders.

This is exactly how we would handle the process for any other suitable CCM, such as a bike shop or sporting goods store.

American Express:

When ISO develops a new merchant category code, we follow our usual business practices and work with our third-party processors and partners on implementation. It is important to note that MCC codes are one of many data points that help us understand the industries in which our merchants operate. We strive to ensure that we have the right controls in place to meet our regulatory and fiduciary responsibilities, as well as to prevent illegal activity on our network.

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