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WV AG Questioning Legality of Visa, Mastercard, American Express using new code for Gun Shop Sales

September 20th, 2022 by WCBC Radio

Following his letters urging Visa, Mastercard and American Express to reconsider their bid to apply a new merchant code to distinguish firearms purchases at gun shops, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey has joined a coalition raising concerns over the legality of the proposed action.
The letter, signed by 24 attorneys general, was sent to the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and American Express. Recently, the International Organization for Standardization voted to create a Merchant Category Code for gun stores to use when processing credit and debit card transactions.
“This move has nothing to do with public safety and was done to appease radical gun control groups and others who are anti Second Amendment after years of pressure,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “Tracking legal gun sales from law-abiding merchants and consumers is nothing but an infringement on our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.”
The coalition argued in the letter sent Sept. 20 that creating a list of gun buyers “creates the obvious risk that law-abiding consumers’ information will be leaked, discovered, hacked or otherwise obtained and misused by those who oppose Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
In separate letters Attorney General Morrisey sent Sept. 15, he said the decision by Visa, Mastercard and American Express “displays hostility to your cardholders that choose to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, especially at a time when violent crime is on the rise.”

Visa, Mastercard and American Express are among the world’s largest payment processors. The Attorney General said giving gun sales its own category puts an unnecessary red flag on otherwise legitimate purchases. Currently, gun store sales are under “general merchandise” as far as credit card purchases are concerned.

The coalition advised the companies to keep in mind “that we will marshal the full scope of our legal authority to protect our citizens and consumers from unlawful attempts to undermine their constitutional rights.”

Attorney General Morrisey joined the letter with his counterparts in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia and Wyoming.