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Tags: gun bills | Georgia house | safety training | merchant code

Ga. House Tackles Gun Safety, Merchant Code For Retailers

Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:58 PM EST

Separate gun bills passed by the Georgia House of Representatives on Tuesday would provide a tax credit to pay for gun safety training and gun safes and prohibit financial institutions from using a code to distinguish firearms retailers.

The tax credit bill received bipartisan support, passing the GOP-led House 162-3. It provides a state income tax credit of up to $300 that could be used to pay for training and gun storage devices. But Democrats decried the second bill banning the merchant code as a giveaway to the gun lobby that would make the state less safe. That bill passed by a narrower 106-60 margin.

Both bills now go to the state Senate for consideration.

Merchant category codes exist for almost every kind of purchase, including those made at supermarkets, clothing stores, coffee shops and many other retailers. In 2022, Visa and other credit card companies said they would adopt a new merchant code for gun sales set by the International Organization for Standardization (IOS), though they put that decision on hold in the face of opposition.

There had been hopes that categorizing credit and debit card purchases would allow authorities to potentially see red flags — such as significant ammunition purchases — before a mass shooting could happen.

Republican state Rep. Jason Ridley, noting the IOS is based in Switzerland, said the code could be used to create a registry of gun sales.

"I don't care which side of firearms you stand on," he said. "Nobody should know what you're buying and keeping a registry, especially a foreign country."

Democratic state Rep. Shea Roberts said the legislation would take away a tool banks could use to detect fraud and law enforcement agencies could use to spot people stockpiling weapons for a mass shooting.

"It's what we've seen time and time again," she said. "The gun lobby trumps everything."

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.


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Separate gun bills passed by the Georgia House of Representatives on Tuesday would provide a tax credit to pay for gun safety training and gun safes and prohibit financial institutions from using a code to distinguish firearms retailers.
gun bills, Georgia house, safety training, merchant code
307
2024-58-27
Tuesday, 27 February 2024 06:58 PM
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