Gun rights advocates are angry about a recent decision by major credit card companies to put gun sales into a new tracking category, calling the move an erosion of the Second Amendment, The Daily Mail reported.
The National Rifle Association said the policy was "anti-gun" and would target law-abiding Americans who are legally allowed to purchase weapons.
"The industry's decision to create a firearm-specific code is nothing more than capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans, one transaction at a time," NRA spokesman Lars Dalseide said.
"This is not about tracking or prevention or any virtuous motivation — it's about creating a national registry of gun owners."
Several Second Amendment advocates tweeted that they would pay cash in the future to circumvent the measure.
"Criminals and gang bangers don't use credit cards to buy guns and ammo. Just another way of vilifying law abiding citizens," gun rights activist Cesar Cordova tweeted on Monday, The Daily Mail reported.
"If they can't take your rights away by force of government, they'll do it through their woke corporations instead," tweeted Dave Kellogg of Indianapolis, Indiana.
Major credit card companies, including Mastercard, Visa, and American Express, announced last week that they would create a new coding system for all firearms purchases in the United States. That will help track suspicious purchases, such as the one in the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, where Salvador Ramos purchased his weapon using a bank card.
Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock spent $95,000 on guns in the year before the shooting that killed 60 people in 2017.
The policy is expected to start in the coming months, The Daily Mail reported.
Visa announced Saturday that it will follow Master Card and American Express in accepting the policy. It creates a new merchant category for U.S. gun shops, to separate pistol and rifle sales from other retail groupings.
This will likely put pressure on the banks as the card issuers to adopt the standard as well, NPR noted. Visa acts as a middle man between merchants and banks, and it will be up to banks to decide if they will allow sales at gun stores to happen on their issued cards.
Mastercard said it will support lawful purchases while protecting the privacy and decisions of individual cardholders.
Two of the country's largest public pension funds, in California and New York, have been pressing the country's largest credit card firms to establish sales codes specifically for firearm-related sales that could flag suspicious purchases or more easily trace how guns and ammunition are sold, NPR reported.
Credit card companies track sales by sector such as grocery stores and restaurants, but guns have been included in a general retail category up to now. The code would not say what the buyer purchases, only where the sales are made.
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