Even before Joe Biden entered the White House, the Democrats pushed for more restrictions and regulations surrounding gun laws in America. With the recent mass shootings in America, the Biden administration urged Americans to stand with them as they banned certain assault rifles from being purchased and owned in the United States. Biden tried to reason with voters, suggesting one could not own a cannon and how deer don’t wear a Kevlar vest in the wild. While the Democrats have been met with backlash when it comes to the second amendment, it seems that some credit card companies created a new code that will put purchases of guns and ammo into a certain category. 

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According to CBS News, “Merchant category codes are made up of four digits and are used across all sorts of industries as a means to classify retailers, while not revealing individual product purchases. Credit card companies currently lump firearm retailers in with other outlets, classifying them as either ‘5999: Miscellaneous retail stores’ or ‘5941: Sporting Goods Stores’. With a new code for firearms merchants, potentially suspicious purchasing patterns could be flagged to law enforcement — much the same way banks and credit unions made more than 1.4 million suspicious activity reports in 2021.”

While gaining support from the Democrats, the creation of a unique code for gun sales has been pushed by the Amalgamated Bank of New York for some time now. Each attempt has been denied and smothered with opposition. But now, Democrats like Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative Madeleine Dean wrote a letter to Visa, Master Card, and American Express, urging them to adopt the idea.  “The creation of a new [merchant category code] for gun and ammunition retail stores would be the first step towards facilitating the collection of valuable financial data that could help law enforcement in countering the financing of terrorism efforts.”

Weighing the idea, Visa replied to the Democrats, writing, “We believe that asking payment networks to serve as a moral authority by deciding which legal goods can or cannot be purchased sets a dangerous precedent. We understood Amalgamated Bank’s request to be justified, at least in part, by an interest in blocking transactions that would fall under such a new category, and Visa’s rules expressly prohibit blocking of legal transactions under an MCC”

CEO of Amalgamated Bank Priscilla Sims Brown explained,  “We all have to do our part to stop gun violence. And it sometimes starts with illegal purchases of guns and ammunition. The new code will allow us to fully comply with our duty to report suspicious activity and illegal gun sales to authorities without blocking or impeding legal gun sales. This action answers the call of millions of Americans who want safety from gun violence and we are proud to have led the broad coalition of advocates, shareholders, and elected officials that achieved this historic outcome.”