New York Legislators Want Credit Card Companies To Track Gun and Ammo Purchases

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

New York legislators want to make it easier to detect credit card purchases at gun stores. According to Gothamist, at least 48 legislators in the Empire State have contacted MasterCard and American Express via a letter asking for purchase codes to be created for guns and ammunition. While there are codes unique to some purchases, in many cases, the companies track where the transaction was made but not what was actually purchased. Currently, for MasterCard, there is no code for the purchase of firearms. The legislators want just such a code to be implemented. Proponents claim that the move would make it easier to target gun traffickers and prevent mass shootings.


The New York politicians want to track “suspicious” purchases, and as Gothamist points out, such reporting is already required by the Bank Secrecy Act, which was augmented by the Patriot Act. This is used primarily in cases of money laundering, suspected terrorism, or tax evasion. One impetus for the move is a New York Times story highlighting incidents by mass shooters who purchased their guns and ammunition via credit card.

The effort is being headed up by Sen. Zellnor Myrie (D-20th district). Myrie penned an op-ed for the New York Daily News in August of this year. He argues against bail reform and what he calls the “Nixon-era” approach to law and order and said that his constituents have told him that they feel that they are “overpoliced and underprotected.” He said the Democrats must recognize that perception equals reality.

Related: The Biden Administration Has Found a Sneaky Way to Compile an Illegal Gun Registry

Myrie said that, since the Supreme Court ruling on guns, the New York legislature has passed laws that can survive appeals and that it also passed a law holding gun manufacturers accountable if a gun they made is used in a crime and if they do not keep paper records of sales. He also criticized the GOP for opposing bail reform while failing to protect communities from gun violence and defending the gun industry — except that bail reform has created some problems in NYC. Myrie said that people buying guns legally and without ill intent would have nothing to worry about.


Critics point to the fact that background checks are part and parcel of buying weapons, and according to Gothamist, a gun shop owner in the Big Apple said he already puts limits on purchases. And there are concerns that this is an attack on the Second Amendment and a back-door attempt at creating a gun registry.

There are other questions. Where will the records go? Who will have custody of them? How will these red flags be applied? If someone is a registered Republican, also currently known as a MAGA semi-fascist, will they be flagged for a visit from the ATF? What about hunters or sports shooters? One might argue that someone out for a day of trap shooting will only buy a box of shells instead of making a huge purchase of ammunition, I suppose. Furthermore, aside from profiling, how does a gun dealer know the intent of someone purchasing a firearm? Will red flags be applied not just to the size and type of purchases but also to sites visited on the internet or political affiliation?

It is patently true that some people should not have guns. I was shot at once by a man strung out on drugs who was shooting at random people out of his apartment window. So I get it. But how will this list be used? And who will it be used against?



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