TALLAHASSEE — On Tuesday, the Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee voted 7-3 to approve a bill, SB 214, that would fine credit card companies $10,000 per violation if they track firearms and ammunition sales in Florida.
As previously reported by The Florida Standard, the idea for credit card companies to track gun sales was publicly introduced in 2018 by New York Times columnist Aaron Ross Sorkin and was quickly picked up by gun control advocates.
This policy would institute a new merchant category code specifically for gun stores, which have previously been registered under “miscellaneous retail” or “sporting goods.” The tracking of gun purchases has not yet been introduced, according to reports.
However, there may be indications that some form of program to interfere with gun purchases already is being trialed. A California resident that The Florida Standard spoke with states that in 2020, he attempted to pay for a gun purchase at a Los Angeles gun store, Martin B. Retting Inc., using a Bank of America debit card.
The purchase was rejected several times without explanation. The man then went and withdrew cash from a 7-Eleven store next door, using the same card, and was thus able to pay for his purchase. The Florida Standard spoke with a representative at Retting, who declined to comment due to company policy.
U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-North Dakota) has taken banks to task over plans to implement a “social credit score” for gun purchasers.
In a letter sent to the Bank Policy Institute dated September 21, 2022, Sen. Cramer states that “payment services like Apple Pay and PayPal have banned all transactions involving firearms or ammunition from their services. These policies undeniably discriminate against a constitutionally-protected right.”
SB 214 will now move on to the Committee on Finance and Tourism.