Gun rights advocates warned that a new change to the credit card industry to add a firearm and ammunition-specific Merchant Category Code (MCC) for gun stores wasn’t about tracking guns necessarily, but could lead to the denial of lawful firearms purchases by law-abiding citizens.
In September, Visa, Mastercard, and American Express all said they would adopt the MCC code to categorize sales at gun shops; months later, several social media posts of alleged gun stores and customers claim they experienced card issues.
Twitter account “Battlecock Tactical” tweeted, “Federal Firearms License [gun shop] in a Facebook group shared this. Looks like the doomers accurately called how that new firearms merchant code would go down.”
Battlecock Tactical’s images show what appears to be a retail POS system at an FFL that reads $913.70 transaction was “declined.” The error code on the merchant’s computer read:
“Transaction declined: Charge declined RESTRICTED CARD Customer bank does not allow this card to be used at this type of merchant.”
Battlecock Tactical’s tweet had what appears to be another FFL by the handle “3dprintfreedom.com” who replied:
Holy shit. This might explain the random card issues we've been having.
— 3dprintfreedom.com (@YouMayCall_Me_V) December 8, 2022
Someone with the handle “AnarchyCoiner” tweeted:
“I had this happen with my PayPal credit card. I tried to use it to buy ammo at my local FFL and it was denied.”
Another person said:
“Tried to buy a psa dagger slide a bit ago and had the same issue ordering from their website with my debit card – credit card let me order tho.”
And perhaps the gun advocates were right from the get-go…
As credit card companies were rolling out the new code in mid-September, National Shooting Sports Foundation lawyer Lawrence Keane explained:
“It was never about gathering data to aide law enforcement. It is, and always has been, a concerted effort to pressure credit card companies to deny lawful purchases of firearms and put every single gun purchaser on a watchlist.”
Could these be some of the first examples of backdoor anti-gun policies enforced through big corporations?