Several large credit card companies have announced plans to begin tracking purchases of guns and ammunition.
The move has incited backlash from conservatives, who worry that this will lead to government surveillance and an abridgement of the second amendment.
Tucker Carlson discussed the issue on his show recently.
“If you wanted to ban guns, not just assault rifles or ghost guns, bump stocks, all guns, you want to ban guns, you want to disarm the population, the first thing you would do is track the purchase of guns,” said Carlson. “Not surprisingly, that’s now happening.”
“So Visa, the largest payment processor in the world, has announced it’s going to track your gun purchases,” he continued. “They’ve established a new merchandise category for gun and ammunition retailers.”
“Not just guns, ammo, too,” he emphasized.
Republican officials are similarly outraged.
Tracking & monitoring firearm purchases place the information of Kentucky’s law-abiding gun owners at risk of being misused by those who oppose Second Amendment rights.
— Attorney General Daniel Cameron (@kyoag) September 22, 2022
“Progressives are already cheering that this will be a huge step forward in monitoring suspicious gun purchases,” criticized Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) on Wednesday during a House hearing. “Anyone who is against the rights of gun owners will want [financial] institutions to flag every single transaction with a gun [code] to law enforcement.”
The credit card companies have resisted the move, not wanting to get caught in political crosshairs.
“We do not believe private companies should serve as moral arbiters,” wrote Visa on their website. “A fundamental principle for Visa is protecting all legal commerce throughout our network and around the world and upholding the privacy of cardholders who choose to use Visa.”
Proponents of the new code point out that only the place of purchase will be tracked, not the items purchased. They also say the information will help law enforcement agencies in gun-related crimes.
Nonetheless, big banks have joined the major credit card companies in arguing against the new code.
“We cannot be involved in telling American citizens how their money will be used,” said JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon on Thursday during a Senate Banking Committee meeting. “That’s not our job.”