Anti-gun forces are exploring a new avenue of attack against law-abiding buyers of firearms and ammunition.
Banks and credit-card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems, a move that could be a prelude to restricting such transactions, according to people familiar with the talks.
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The financial companies have explored creating a new credit-card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants or department stores, according to people familiar with the matter. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying, some of the people said.
Such data could allow banks to restrict purchases at certain businesses or monitor them.
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Even a move to monitor gun purchases would be contentious, highlighting concerns about the use of consumer data and Wall Street’s involvement in a sensitive political area.
“There’s a privacy angle here,” said Adam Levitin, professor of law at Georgetown University. “There’s the slippery slope danger if it’s guns today maybe it is pornography tomorrow and the day after it’s right-wing literature.”
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How companies use data generated by people’s activities has become a flashpoint in the wake of the controversy about the harvesting of consumers’ personal information and activities at Facebook Inc. by outside companies.
“A bank could say, ‘We’re not going to do business with gun manufacturers,’ ” said Jeremy Stein, a former member of the Federal Reserve Board of governors who currently is an economics professor at Harvard University. “But when it gets into using the information, you’re getting into the same issues Facebook and others had problems with.”
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Citigroup, following the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting, adopted a new code of conduct for gun dealers and manufacturers the bank does business with. The code includes firearms retailers restricting sales for buyers under age 21 ... The policy “does not impact the ability of Citi customers to use their credit and debit cards for the legal purchase of firearms,” according to a bank spokesman. He added that the bank “is focused on implementing its firearms policy and not on conversations around identifying gun purchases.”
A spokesman for Bank of America said the bank’s policy is to stop making new loans to manufacturers of certain kinds of assault rifles sold to civilians. He said the bank isn’t involved in discussions about credit cards.
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At least one large U.S. bank has had early conversations with lawmakers about potential legislation to require merchants to share information about specific gun-related products consumers are buying with their cards, according to people familiar with the matter.
There's more at the link.
This is, of course, an attempt to impose anti-gun sentiment on firearm-neutral laws and regulations. The same people who censor and "no-platform" conservative and right-wing voices on Facebook, Twitter, etc. are more than willing to make it much more difficult for law-abiding firearms purchasers to pursue their legal business activities. Bank of America is already doing that to certain firearms manufacturers, and as a result has lost any prospect of doing business with me. Wells Fargo has (so far) resisted similar pressures, to its credit (you should pardon the expression).
The anti-gunners aren't going to give up. They're "true believers". They know they're right, with a fervor that's almost messianic. They won't listen to reason, only to their feelings. We're going to have to expect more of this from them in future. Meanwhile, if you want to use your credit card or checking account to buy a gun or guns, or stock up on low-cost ammunition from online vendors, now might be a good time to do so. I suspect you'll have a lot more trouble doing so in future. I foresee a lot more guns being bought for cash, or two individuals each buying a gun they know the other wants, then giving it to the other for Christmas, or a birthday, or something like that. That way, there's no record of who ends up the owner of the thing - and the gift of a firearm is entirely legal in terms of the regulations, provided it's not a regular thing that comes to resemble trading activity.
Ultimately, the only way to stop this sort of nonsense is to educate people - and the anti-gunners want to block every possible avenue for us to do that. Oh, well . . . if we can't do it for groups of people, we'll have to tackle it one person at a time. As the USCCA points out:
That's the way.