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Banks and Credit Card Companies Take Gun Control into their own Hands

For years, supporters of the Second Amendment have fought the creation of any federal database that tracks firearm ownership, rightfully arguing that any such database is an infringement of privacy and precursor to gun confiscation. Thus far, it’s a fight that they have been able to win.

Now, though, the private sector is bypassing the federal government and taking the creation of such a database into their own hands. This time around, stopping the existence of a firearm database could prove to be much more difficult.

Numerous banks and credit card companies have come together to discuss ways that they could identify when a person purchases a firearm using one of their payment systems. According to people familiar with the talks, the end goal of any such technology that allows them to identify firearm purchases would be to create a database of firearm owners and potentially restrict the purchase of firearms using their payment systems.

The issues with such a system not only highlights yet another threat that gun rights advocates must face but also highlight a second controversy that has been getting plenty of attention in the media as of late – how companies use customer data.

“There’s a privacy angle here,” Adam Levitin – a law professor at Georgetown University said, “There’s the slippery slope danger if it’s guns today maybe it is pornography tomorrow and the day after it’s right-wing literature.”

This marks the second time since the Parkland shooting that private companies have attempted to take gun control into their own hands. After a national discussion about whether the minimum age to buy a rifle should be raised to 21, both Wal-Mart and Dicks Sporting Goods decided not to wait on the legislative process to raise the minimum age and instead released statements saying that their new policy would be not to sell firearms of any type to anyone under the age of 21. This issue raises a few legal concerns in regards to age discrimination but is still not nearly as concerning as the move by banks and credit card companies to create a gun ownership database.

Still, not every financial institution is on board with the idea. At the bank’s recent annual meeting, Wells Fargo CEO Timothy Sloan said, “We don’t think it’s a good idea for banks to decide what products and services Americans can buy. It should not be up to me, to us, to decide that. It should be up to folks following the laws and folks making decisions.”

Michael Corbat – the CEO of Citigroup – however, took a different approach, saying that the policy “is intended to preserve the rights of responsible gun owners like myself, while relying on best sales practices to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.”

As much as the banks and credit card companies pushing the policy try to paint it in a positive light, the dangers that it presents are very real and very considerable. Supporters of the Second Amendment have long known that the first step to gun confiscation is a national database of gun ownership, which is why they have fought so hard to keep the federal government from creating any such database.

Now, though, private companies – acting outside of any legislative process – are on the verge of creating this database on their own, and aside from boycotts and pressure from their customer base, there is very little that can be done to stop them.

Insiders familiar with the discussions surrounding these policies have also made it very clear that the technology used to identify and monitor firearm transactions may one day be used to block firearm transactions entirely. Of course, even if it did come to this, there’s nothing stopping a person from withdrawing cash from their financial institution in order to purchase a firearm. Nevertheless, the potential for banks and credit card companies to block firearm purchases still presents yet another threat to Second Amendment rights.

Hopefully, pressure from their customer base will keep these banks and credit card companies from following through with their ill-thought-out plans. However, even if these policies are not enacted, gun rights advocates must still come to face the reality that we now live in a world where threats to the Second Amendment can come from both the government and private sector alike.

~ American Gun News


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16 Responses

  1. If you don’t have the cash, get a cash advance and pay with cash. No record at the bank of what the advance was for.

    1. NO! GET A CREDIT CARD THAT PAYS YOU $150 FOR SPENDING $500 IN 90 DAYS AND GIVES YOU 15 MONTHS 0% INTEREST. BUY AN OLD PERSON A FIREARM, ONE THAT’S ABOUT TO DIE. HAVE IT IN THEIR NAME AND WHEN THEY DIE THE TRAIL DEAD ENDS WITH THEM! TO MAKE IT PERFECT, THE CARD SHOULD BE IN THEIR NAME. CHASE, AMEX, AND ANOTHER ONE OFFER THE $150 AND 0% INTEREST FOR 15 MONTHS. DISCOVER CARD $75.

  2. John is right but , if one is going to purchase a high dollar weapon it is foolish, if not inconvenient to carry such a large amount of cash. In addition, to the purchase of the gun, extra cash would be necessary for ammunition and accessories.

    1. Cash may be inconvenient, and in some cases stupid, but if they are going to get a gun “off the books” it will most likely be from someone who doesn’t take anything but cash.

  3. “is intended to preserve the rights of responsible gun owners like myself, while relying on best sales practices to keep firearms out of the wrong hands.”

    R – i – g – h – t… Criminals will always follow the law and disclose the needed information to stop them buying a gun, and Of Course they will ALWAYS buy from a store and not from a “friend who doesn’t ‘need’ paperwork”

    The idiocy of this article is amazing. I knew other KIDS back in the mid to late 50s who had all the guns they wanted. You think that’s slowed down? I have talked with police officers (off the record) who say if you want and untraceable gun you can get one. A big worry for them is the looser who always turns up with a gun … that he can’t buy legally.

    Make the punishment for using guns in a crime MUCH more severe … mandatory Jail time, in years, not months or days.

  4. Frost the Credit banks who have been bailed out by tax payers money. Beware of the self- righteous CEO’s monitoring private purchase activity. Use Cash to purchase. Do not use their conduits.

  5. Gun control laws do not work never have never will. Yet government keeps adding more every time there is a mass shooting. What do they expect the new laws to do? Because they accomplish nothing what-so-ever. The reason that is true is simple. They constantly blame the wrong thing. The gun, and no gun can shoot itself it takes a person to pull the trigger. But those making the laws keep on blaming the gun. Therefore, nothing will ever change short of total confiscation which is impossible.

    Just exactly who is effected with gun control laws? The answer of course is the people who regularly obey laws. Do criminals or terrorists care about laws? Their actions are already illegal. Do crazy mass murders on mind altering drugs care about laws? So this government fails to do its constitutional duties (protecting the nation and the citizens) and instead further burdens the very people they are duty bound to protect with more and more restrictive gun laws. Is that what they seek to cover their mistakes and short comings? Everyone with an once of common sense knows law enforcement cannot be everywhere at the same time so a law abiding armed citizen assists law enforcement with his or her God given right to self protect. Disarming the very people who are most vulnerable the very people who are always the victims makes them more vulnerable not less. What is so difficult to understand about that? Is this one of those do something even if it is wrong instances? It does appear so. However, those in government charged with the duty of providing that protection are, by suggesting more gun laws, are the answer not the problem, making the problem even worse. Such a problem is serious it involves peoples lives. When will the leaders of this nation begin to take this problem seriously and pass constitutional carry nationwide by passing reciprocity. Sooner of later most of the states will pass constitutional carry (no permit required). The constitution already allows that carrying of firearms (keep and “bear” arms remember). Therefore, the government should get out of the way and quit assisting these murders.

    Just what raising the age to buy a gun to 21 will do is at best not clear. Buying a gun is totally different then having a gun. Furthermore, children can be taught to handle a gun safely at a rather young age. I was.

    Born and raised in a rural community, on a farm, in the late 30’s over seven miles from the closet town which had a population of 700, I grew up with guns and having one at a very young age was no big deal. I was hunting squirrels at a very young age (seven) alone and no one though anything about that. We were all responsible and trustworthy. None were on mind altering drugs either. Got my first legal deer at nine. By myself. Drug it back to the house and hung it in a tree my myself. It weighed more then me at the time. I say this only to say today it is a mental problem not a gun problem. Guns are not the culprit the person holding the gun is. Until we as a nation begin to realize that and act accordingly nothing will ever change. I learned how to shoot and handle a gun safely at the age of five because my grandfather thought I should know how and also learn safety with a gun. I did just that!

    I was 16 years old before we had electricity. But I guess times were different then. We were not sent outside to play but to work because everyone had to pitch in to help because times were hard. Just being raised on a farm was different then city kids. Even though the depression was more or less over during WWII we were asked to make sacrifices for the war effort which we did willingly because patriotism was everywhere. All Americans loved the country. We said prayers in school and recited the pledge of allegiance daily. That is the way we started the day. Every student knew it even in the first grade. Nearly everything was rationed during WWII but we got along rather well and made do as my mother always said we would. Admittedly living on a farm was a big help.

    In those days children became adults very early in life somehow it is no longer that way and without saying which was best for society we did not go around indiscriminately shooting one another. Today young adults seem to be still children. In trying to understand what is different I have to say we communicated with each other and if laws were broken there was swift punishment and that was all the deterrent necessary. Furthermore, it was an armed society and also a friendly, very polite society. It now seems we, as a nation, have not moved forward in those last 79 years but backward. Times and things are worse now not better. These modern day improvements (or what is called improvements) have not helped the children of today at all. In fact their impact may very well be a large part of the problem.

  6. My credit cards and bank account have previously been hacked. My wife and I use cash for everything now. That requires a few more trips to the bank each month. That is easier than getting money back after a hack. Use cash.

  7. How about a list of participants? I already cancelled my NRA Visa card due to the issuing bank’s cowardice and would like to extend that boycott to any other banking entity that attacks my second amendment rights as well!

    Phil in TX

  8. DO WHAT I DO. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF CREDIT CARDS THAT OFFER A $150 CASH REWARD WHEN YOU SPEND $500 IN 90 DAYS AND GET 15 MONTHS TO PAY OFF THE BALANCE. BUY A TRADABLE FIREARM AND THEN TRADE FOR THE ONE THAT YOU REALLY WANT. THAT ONE COULD BE OFF THE BOOKS. ANOTHER SOLUTION IS TO HAVE AN OLD PERSON ABOUT TO DIE BUY WHAT YOU WANT, REIMBURSE THEM, AND WHEN THEY DIE THE TRACKING ENDS WITH THEM!

    IN 2016, I TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THREE SUCH OFFERS. THEN CITIBANK OFFERED ME 21 MONTHS ZERO INTEREST. THEN MY SPORTSMANS GUIDE CREDIT CARD OFFERED ME 12 MONTHS ZERO INTEREST AND NO BAL TRANSFER FEE, LAST SEPT.

    TO SUMMARIZE: IN THE LAST TWO YEARS CREDIT CARDS HAVE PAID ME $450 AND RECEIVED NO INTEREST OR FEE’S FROM ME. I TRANSFERRED BALANCES FOR FREE, AND GOT ZERO PERCENT INTEREST LAST SEPTEMBER. $2,000 OF FIREARMS WILL HAVE COST ME OUT OF POCKET $1550. THOSE CREDIT CARD OFFERS ARE STILL OUT THERE. GET AN OLD PERSON TO BUY THE GUN THAT YOU WANT AND HAVE THE CREDIT CARD COMPANY PAY $150 OF THE COST OF THE GUN! REIMBURSE THE OLD PERSON FOR THE GUN.

  9. I have stopped using my CITICARDS and am planning on moving my checking, savings, and money market accounts from Bank of America to Wells Fargo in protest. Wish more people would do that so this nonsense would be stopped. The firearm was developed as a defensive weapon and the penalties for offensive use should be enforced. The Second Amendment is not meant as individual protection, but as a protection against an out of control government. This RIGHT shall not be INFREINGED. You can’t count the ways it is being infringed. There should one age for legal adulthood, not 18 to vote, 21 to buy a gun, 26 to buy your own insurance. Are we nuts?

  10. “Kaliforna/Moonbeamville” has already done that !! they require a “certificate of handgun safety” before buying or transfering any and all handguns! its a no brainer 30 question test multichoice and t/f questions that you can miss “7” questions and still pass! the catch is the “FEE” to get the copier paper certficate ! wich costs $25.00!! $10.00 goes to the FFL holder giving the test cash/check or credit/debit is ok….. “BUT” the other $15.00 is ONLY paid directly to the state by ONLY a CREDITCARD or DEBIT card holder getting the cert !!! a hunting lic. is not accepted in lieu of a handgun cert only on all longarms ! then a hunting lic can be used for the transfer/purchase on a longarm if you dont have a hunting lic.? then you have to have a another cert for longguns wich is the same B.S. and cost ! plus you have to have a drivers lic or state ID card also with another form of proof of address ! mite add that all hunting lic.in Kalifornia/Moonbeamville are tied to your drivers lic. ID. just wanted to share that with you ALL ! so all of the above topic has already been IMPOSED on us in Kalifornia/Moonbeamville!

  11. Uh, this is only against honest citizens. How many idiots think that criminals use their own credit cards to purchase firearms?

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