The mayor of New York City, Eric Adams, along with other elected officials and state pension fund trustees, have requested that major credit card companies implement a weapon code for the purchase of firearms and ammunition.
“New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, trustees of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System and Board of Education Retirement System, and elected leaders today called on American Express, MasterCard and Visa, three of the world’s largest credit card companies, to support a proposal to establish a merchant category code (MCC) for gun and ammunition stores,” according to the news release.
Officials in New York City and the state of New York have asked American Express, MasterCard, and Visa to make a four-digit merchant category code (MCC) like the ones used for other retail categories to better identify and report suspicious behavior, such as large purchases of firearms.
“The creation of a new code would help financial institutions detect and report suspicious activity, such as unusually large purchases of firearms or ammunition, or purchases from multiple stores, that may be used for criminal purposes,” it claimed.
According to the news release, “credit card companies use a four-digit merchant category code to classify businesses by the types of goods and services sold. Merchant category codes are set by the International Organization on Standardization (ISO). Unique merchant category codes exist for grocery stores, sporting goods stores, bicycle shops, and many other retailers — but not for gun and ammunition stores.”
American Express, MasterCard, and Visa have not supported the proposal in the past.
“Seth Eisen, a Mastercard spokesman, told The New York Post that the credit card giant is working with the International Organization on Standardization (ISO) on how to create the codes, which would appear on bank statements between Mastercard and its merchants. Mastercard wants to be sure it also protects cardholders’ privacy, Newsmax reported.
“When it comes to guns falling into the wrong hands, we must find upstream solutions before we’re faced with downstream consequences — because downstream consequences are lost lives,” said Mayor Adams. “When you buy an airline ticket or pay for your groceries, your credit card company has a special code for those retailers. It’s just common sense that we have the same policies in place for gun and ammunition stores. I’m proud to join Comptroller Lander and our partners at the state level to call for this important policy change.”