The Anti-Gun Movement’s Latest Target


Where they’ve failed to legislate, Congressional members are cajoling others to do their bidding and make life difficult for lawful, Constitutionally protected businesses.

Earlier this year, they started with logistics companies.

In May, five Democratic senators — Sens. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — sent a letter to UPS, FedEx, U.S. Postal Service and 25 other major carriers, which shared their concern of “lax security measures are contributing to the epidemic of gun violence in this country by allowing criminals to use stolen firearms to commit crimes.”

About a month later, UPS sent letters to customers such as Ghost Firearms and Brownells, informing them their accounts had been cancelled — “effective immediately.” In addition, the letter stated any package found in the UPS system “may be seized and destroyed.”

June 28, FedEx Express and FedEx Ground enabled ID scanning functionality for deliveries in the U.S. that require an adult signature. The ID scanning technology electronically captures the recipient’s name and automate age verification. According to FedEx, it will not record other personal data — such as the driver’s license number, phone number, birthdate, home address, etc. The change at the freighter level is already impacting changes in some manufacturers’ shipping procedures.

New Credit Card Rule

Here in September, their latest approach to privatize gun control materialized.

Sept. 9, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) announced it would create a new Merchant Category Code (MCC) specific to firearm and ammunition retailers. These codes are used by payment processing networks to categorize various transactions. Prior to Sept. 9, credit card purchases at gun stores were categorized as “general merchandise.”

This development came after multiple petitions by the anti-gun Amalgamated Bank (AB) to the ISO. In mid-2021, AB requested an MCC for gun and ammunition retailers in, and then resubmitted the same petition June 2022.

Days before the announcement from the ISO, Sept. 2, U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Madeleine Dean (D-Pa.) sent letters to the CEOs of MasterCard, American Express and Visa urging them to “support the creation of a new merchant category code for gun and ammunition retailers and to request information about their reported opposition to Amalgamated Bank’s application for such a code.”

The letter was endorsed by AB, Guns Down America, Giffords and Everytown for Gun Safety.

“Banks should report dangerous warning signs to law enforcement when extremists are quickly building up massive stockpiles of guns, but that first requires ensuring gun store transactions have a unique identifier,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown. “We applaud Senator Warren and Representative Dean for calling on credit card companies to support the creation of this merchant code, so banks have the tools they need to help law enforcement intervene before warning signs turn into tragedies.”

Bowing to the pressure of anti-gun groups, Visa Inc. announced Sept. 10 it plans to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops, joining Mastercard and AmEx.

An article published by the NRA-ILA exclaimed this will give anti-gun groups another avenue to attack gun owners and industry businesses.

“If fully implemented by the various payment processors, the hope of gun control groups for this new MCC is it would create a registry of gun owners they have long sought and provide them with another tool to attack lawful industry when firearms are used in crime,” it said.

Mark Oliva, NSSF managing director of public affairs, pointed out an intrinsic flaw in this proposal.

“The ISO’s approval to create MCCs for firearm and ammunition purchases is flawed on its premise,” he said. “Those authorities who have been clamoring for these codes claim this will assist law enforcement to uncover suspect purchases without specific criteria to define what would be considered suspicious.”

Industry organizations are already working on ways to prevent or reduce the implementation of the new MCC — which SI will continue tracking.

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