Democrat Senators Urge DOJ Action After Credit Cards Refuse to Track Gun Purchases
AWR Hawkins15 Mar 2023
Sens. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Department of the Treasury (Treasury) to take quick action to implement financial tracking of gun and ammunition purchases in the wake of announcements fromVisa, Mastercard, and Discover that they would not be tracking purchases of guns and ammunition.
On September 11, 2022, Breitbart News pointed out that Visa caved to pressure from gun control groups and New York Democrats, agreeing to flag gun and ammo purchases via a new merchant category (MCC) code. The Associated Press observed that Mastercard and other major credit card companies also agreed to flag gun sales.
On March 2, 2023, Breitbart News noted that Discover was slated to begin tracking gun and ammunition purchases with the new MCC code in April 2023. This news created a feeling of momentum for the left countered by a wave of pushback among conservatives.
On March 9, 2023, Breitbart News reportedthat Visa and Mastercard pivoted amidst the pushback and that the two credit card giants announcedthey would not begin tracking gun and ammunition purchases anytime soon.
On March 10, 2023, Money.com indicatedDiscover was hitting the brakes as well, and would not begin tracking gun purchases in April as planned.
In a joint press release, Sens. Menendez and Warren reacted to the credit card companies’ decisions by urging the DOJ and Treasury to intervene and “provide guidance” for financial institutions to adopt the new MCC code and track gun and ammunition purchases.
Menendez and Warren admitted that red state pushback had caused the companies to back away from the idea, saying, “This effort comes on the heels of recent developments, in which Visa, Mastercard, and American Express have paused the implementation of the new MCC code becausesome Republican-led states are actively working to block its enactment.”
Menendez and Warren wrote:
We urge Treasury and DOJ to quickly publish any policy advisory, enforcement guidance, and other materials needed by financial institutions, retailers, and law enforcement as the new MCC code is implemented for gun and ammunition stores. … We also ask Treasury, with input from the DOJ, to issue guidance to financial institutions regarding circumstances that should prompt financial firms to file a suspicious activity report about transactions they suspect are related to trafficking in firearms, money laundering proceeds from trafficking in firearms, or other criminal activity.
On August 28, 2022, Breitbart News pointed out that the pressure for credit card companies to track gun and ammo sales was not the result of a grassroots groundswell but of a campaign by Gabby Giffords’ gun control group, Giffords, which was urging major credit companies to flag such purchases via a new MCC code.
Giffords posted a tweet on August 28, 2022, which said, “The shooters in at least 5 mass shootings have stockpiled guns & ammo using credit cards and killed 145 people. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express have the power to flag suspicious purchases and save lives. Call on them to act.”
On August 30, 2022, Breitbart News observed that Democrat New York lawmakers were also urging major credit card companies to create and use a new MCC code which would in effect flag gun purchases in the state and around the country.
Menendez and Warren are now urging the DOJ and Treasury to get involved and secure compliance with the code. Their effort is supported by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Ed Markey (D-MA), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Bob Casey (D-PA), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), and Ben Ray Luján (D-NM).
Still don’t trust them, they’ll cave, it will take a SC case to overturn this