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.
The new policy will institute a new merchant category code specifically for gun stores, which have previously been registered under “miscellaneous retail” or “sporting goods.” But the code will not distinguish between which specific items are purchased from a retailer. This means that the credit card companies won’t know whether someone bought thousands of dollars’ worth of firearms, or, let’s say, camping equipment for a similar amount.
REPORT TO AUTHORITIES
Proponents of this new policy believe that it will reduce gun violence since credit card companies can monitor transactions and report suspicious ones to the authorities.
“Today’s announcement is a critical first step towards giving banks and credit card companies the tools they need to recognize dangerous firearm purchasing trends – like a domestic extremist building up an arsenal – and report them to law enforcement,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety in a statement last week.
“PUT GUN PURCHASERS ON A WATCHLIST”
Critics say that the new policy confers policing and intelligence gathering functions on private companies – which could be a first step in citizens being denied their rights – not by government directly – but by corporations acting in collusion with political forces, enacting policies that cannot be challenged in court.
“It was never about gathering data to aide law enforcement. It is, and always has been, a concerted effort to pressure credit card companies to deny lawful purchases of firearms and put every single gun purchaser on a watchlist,” writes the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry’s trade association.
The measure is an example of the public-private partnership as promoted by the World Economic Forum – where private corporations go in and create policies and procedures that the government is unable to do due to constitutional rights and other legislation – or which would take major legislative efforts to push through. We have seen this in the collusion between the Biden administration and social media companies, for example when they tried to have Twitter ban vaccine critic Alex Berenson.
Critics also see this measure as a step closer to instituting a Chinese-style “social credit score” in the United States, where surveillance, tracking and registration of opinions and behaviors will form the basis for an individual’s access to goods and services in society. The public-private partnership is a shortcut to implement a totalitarian system without asking the voters for their opinion, and without their consent.