Menu Close

Payment processors plan to prevent mass shootings with a new strategy

Payment processors plan to prevent mass shootings with a new strategy

Payment processors plan to prevent mass shootings with a new strategy. Visa Inc., a payment processor, announced on Saturday that it intends to begin categorizing sales at gun shops separately. This is a significant victory for gun control advocates who believe it will make it easier to monitor suspicious spikes in gun sales that might signal the beginning of a mass shooting.


Gun rights activists and gun lobbyists, however, are likely to be incensed by Visa’s decision. This is because they have maintained that classifying gun sales would unfairly highlight a sector when most transactions do not result in mass shootings. Visa is the largest payment processor in the world. It joins Mastercard and American Express, who have declared their intention to proceed with classifying transactions from gun shops.

According to Visa, the new merchant code for gun transactions released on Friday by the International Organization for Standardization will be adopted. Gun store sales were categorized as “general items” up until Friday.

The payment processor issued a statement. “Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps. This is while ensuring we protect all legitimate trade on the Visa network in compliance with our long-standing regulations.”


Visa’s adoption is important because it’s the largest payment network. Along with Mastercard and American Express, it will probably put pressure on banks, who issue credit and debit cards to follow suit.

Banks will determine whether to let sales at gun shops occur on their issued cards. Visa serves as a mediator between merchants and banks.

Recently, proponents of gun control have made great progress in this area. The ISO and banks had been under pressure to adopt this regulation from New York City politicians and pension funds.

Payment processors plan to prevent mass shootings with a separate categorization for gun shops

California and New York are home to two of the biggest public pension funds in the nation. They have been pressuring the biggest credit card companies to create sales codes. This is specifically for firearm-related sales that could flag questionable purchases. Also, make it easier to track how guns and ammunition are sold.

Almost every type of purchase has a merchant category code. This includes those from supermarkets, clothes stores, coffee shops and many more merchants.

“Your credit card provider has a unique number for those retailers, whether you pay for groceries or an airplane ticket. According to New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the same regulations should apply to ammunition and gun dealers. He is a former police captain who attributes the lethal violence in his city to the widespread use of firearms.

Brad Lander, the city’s comptroller, claimed that using it as a weapon to combat gun violence was both ethical and practical.


Sadly, the credit card companies have not provided support for this easy-to-use, useful and perhaps life-saving instrument. Lander recently stated that the time has come for them to do so. This is before Visa and other companies made the change.

Lander serves as a trustee for the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, the Teachers’ Retirement System and the Board of Education Retirement System, which collectively own 667,200 shares of American Express, valued at about $92.49 million, 1.1 million shares of MasterCard, valued at about $347.59 million, and 1.85 million shares of Visa, valued at about $363.86 million.

Read: Alex Jones stands trial again

Gun Shops Merchant Category Code

The creation of a merchant category code for independent retailers of firearms and ammunition might help the cause of reducing gun violence. This is according to pension funds and proponents of gun control.

The assailant used credit cards to acquire more than $26,000 worth of weapons and ammo. This includes purchases at a standalone gun store a week before the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people died after a gunman opened fire in 2016.

Since merchant codes only keep track of the sort of retailer where the credit or debit card is used, rather than the actual commodities purchased, proponents of gun rights contend that tracking transactions at gun stores would unjustly target legitimate purchases of firearms. A sale of a gun safe, which costs several thousand dollars and is seen as a necessary component of proper gun ownership, can be mistaken for a sizable purchase at a gun store.

According to Lars Dalseide, a spokesperson for the National Rifle Association, “the (industry’s) decision to develop a weapon-specific code is nothing more than a concession to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on destroying the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time.”

Public pension funds have influenced market conditions and public policy throughout the years by utilizing their sizable investment portfolios.

Read: House passes bill that would ban assault weapons for the first time since 2004

California Teacher’s Fund

The second-largest pension fund in the nation, the California Teachers Fund, has long targeted the firearms business. It has sold off its stock in weapons companies and tried to stop certain merchants from selling firearms.

The teacher’s fund declared gun control a priority four years ago. It urged shops to “watch for abnormalities at the point of sale, to record all weapon transactions, to inspect gun inventory on a regular basis, and to proactively help law enforcement” in addition to requiring background checks.

Read: Visa’s attempt to remove itself from child porn lawsuit was blocked by federal judge

Share: Payment processors plan to prevent mass shootings with a new strategy.


1 Comment

Share your thought

%d bloggers like this: