The Latest Method For Targeting Guns.

Gun Store

With its announcement Saturday, Visa will join Mastercard and American Express in categorizing purchases at firearm stores separately.

Visa will implement a new merchant code for gun shops under the International Organization for Standardization. Friday was the day when the new IOS code was announced. Gun store sales were previously classified as general merchandise.

As a result of ISO’s announcement to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will move forward with the next steps while ensuring all legal commerce on the Visa network is protected, the company said in a statement.

Visa’s move represents a significant victory for gun control advocates who argue that tracking suspicious firearm sales could prevent mass shootings.

However, gun rights activists and lobbyists say categorizing gun shop sales is unfair to the industry since most firearm sales do not lead to mass shootings.

As a middleman between merchants and banks, Visa is the largest payment network. There is likely to be pressure on card issuers, as three major payment processors have declared that gun store sales will be labeled to permit gun store purchases categorized as purchases on issued cards.

The ISO and banks were urged to adopt the new code on gun shop sales by city officials and pension funds.

Pension funds in California and New York, two of the biggest public pension funds in the country, have pressured the country’s biggest credit card companies to separate gun sales codes.

However, these codes are not unique to gun store sales, as they can now be used for a wide variety of purchases, including supermarket purchases, clothing purchases, coffee purchases, and more.

According to gun control advocates, a merchant code for standalone gun and ammunition retailers could curb gun violence. More than $26,000 worth of guns and ammunition were purchased with credit cards by the gunman a week before the 2016 Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida.

According to gun rights advocates, tracking gun store sales would target legal gun purchases because merchant codes only identify the type of merchant where the credit or debit card is used, not the specific item purchased. For example, a gun safe can cost thousands of dollars, making it a large purchase at a gun shop. Gun safes, however, are considered an essential part of responsible gun ownership.

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John Nightbridge is a veteran reporter, researcher, and economic policy major from UCLA. Passionate about world issues and potential ways to solve them is a significant focus of his work. Writing freelance and reading the news are John's passions at work. Outside of work, it's all about sky diving, surfing, and stock market modeling.