a new code to identify sales in gun stores

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VISA, the world’s largest payment processor, along with Mastercard and American Express, announced on Saturday September 10 that it is setting up a separate category for US firearms retailers. This will make it possible to identify the transactions carried out in these stores and to better trace potential criminals.

The major payments organizations have been under repeated pressure from gun control activists, but also from attorneys general in New York and California, to implement a new code that will identify transactions made in gun stores.

Until now, they did not have a separate market category, such as grocery stores or restaurants, and weapons were considered commodities like any other.

This ISO code, which has just been approved by the International Standards Organization based in Geneva, will notably make it possible to track suspicious purchases, and the three payment companies – Visa, Mastercad and American Express – could be forced to report them. to law enforcement, such as financial institutions that monitor money laundering.

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Several leading Democrats applauded the move. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren said those responsible for the latest mass shootings bought their guns with credit cards.

The ISO system has its weaknesses: it shows where a person has spent their money, but not what items they have purchased.

Some denounce excessive surveillance

Some gun rights advocates decry over-surveillance and point out that not every gun purchase leads to mass killing.

Mass shootings this year, including at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, have fueled the long-running American gun control debate.

The American President Joe Biden asked Congress to pass an assault weapons ban as well as $37 billion for crime prevention programs, including $13 billion to hire and train 100,000 more police officers over the next five years.

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