Major Card Companies Pause Work On Code To Track Gun Purchases

According to recent reports from Bloomberg, payment processing giants Visa Inc., MasterCard Inc., and Discover Inc., have stopped working on a plan that would have allowed tracking of purchases made at gun stores, according to Fox News. The companies have suspended their work on the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant category code (MCC) for firearms and ammunition stores.

Advocates of gun control have pushed for the adoption of a new MCC code, arguing ithat it could help flag gun sales and aid in the identification of suspicious activities that could lead to mass shootings. Conversely, advocates for gun rights view this initiative as a violation of Second Amendment and privacy rights.

In response to these developments, a MasterCard spokesman stated that the company has put its work on the new MCC for gun stores on hold. “Today, there are bills advancing in several states related to the use of this new code. If passed, the result will be an inconsistency in how this ISO standard could be applied by merchants, issuers, acquirers and networks,” said Seth Eisen, senior vice president of communications for Mastercard. “It’s for that reason that we have decided to pause work on the implementation of the firearms-specific MCC.”

MasterCard also expressed doubts about the practicality of the MCC codes, noting that they do not provide enough detail on specific purchases to be of significant value in resolving larger issues surrounding the gun debate. The tracking system would only monitor the total purchases made in a gun store and would not differentiate between items bought. This means that someone purchasing a rifle or ammunition would be put in the same category as if they bought safety or hunting gear.

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