Would you be surprised to learn that the newest form of gun control has its roots in the IRS?

Same. We weren’t either.

Back in 2004, the IRS mandated the use of something called a “Merchant Category Code” or an MCC, as a way to classify different types of businesses and identify the types of goods or services that a company sells. 

Soon, gun-grabbers figured out that a special MCC could be created for a business selling firearms, thus – another defacto gun registry that the government could easily access. Some of the worst proposals call for using these codes to flat out ban purchases.

It doesn’t take too much creative thinking to see how people who hate your liberty will use this kind of tool.

After efforts to create a firearm-related MCC failed in recent years, a number of high profile politicians sent a high pressure letter to the major credit card companies last September. And just weeks later, the International Organization for Standardization (IOS) approved the creation of a new firearms-based code.

Unsurprisingly, Everytown was thrilled, “Today’s announcement is a critical first step towards giving banks and credit card companies the tools they need to recognize dangerous firearm purchasing trends”

To them, of course, all firearms purchasing trends are dangerous, so we know where this is leading. And while people can still use cash for in-person purchases – or better yet, real money like gold and silver in some situations – neither of these are valid options for online retailers. 

An article by Free Range American summed up the danger:

Watchdogs are concerned the banking industry has been recruited by the feds to use the coded transactions to create and maintain a database of gun owners that can then be accessed by the government. Indeed, it has been publicly stated that the purpose of the new code is to track “suspicious activity” related to firearms and mass shootings.   

In response, a handful of states started considering a bill called the “2nd Amendment Financial Privacy Act,” to ban the use of these merchant codes in a way that distinguishes a firearms retailer from general merchandise retailers or sporting goods retailers.”

In other words, these states are attempting to just ban the use of the newly-authorized code. 

This kind of legislation was signed into law in Idaho, and is on the governor’s desk in Mississippi. It passed the state senate in Florida, and is still pending in Texas and North Carolina.

We’ve been watching this new kind of state legislation all year, and are surprised as to how much impact it’s already having – prior to a single state even putting a ban into effect.

Last month, all the major credit card companies – Amex, Visa, MC, and Discover – announced they were putting a “pause” on implementation just because a handful of states were considering and potentially moving forward with a 2nd Amendment Financial Privacy Act.

A MasterCard spokesman confirmed that the state legislation is the reason for putting this on hold:

“There are bills advancing in several states related to the use of this new code. If passed, the result will be an inconsistency in how this ISO standard could be applied by merchants, issuers, acquirers and networks. It’s for that reason that we have decided to pause work on the implementation of the firearms-specific MCC.”

This is clearly an early win for the states. Rather than waiting for the entire scheme to get implemented first and then trying to stop it with a lawsuit or legislation later, they found a path forward that creates problems for implementation, and put a stop to it, at least for now.

But let’s not overstate the win. This is on PAUSE, they want us to let our guard down so they can regroup and push again. But that should be a huge green light for 15-20 more states to get on board and ban this practice now so it never gets off the ground.

As Samuel Adams so wisely put it, 

“Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and perseverance.”

Michael Boldin