Following-up our September 12 MRCTV report on credit card issuers VISA, MasterCard, and American Express buckling under pressure from public sector, political forces to adopt new “sales codes” for purchases made at gun shops, the Attorneys General of Montana and Tennessee are leading a total of 24 state Attorneys General to warn the CEOs of the corporate giants against the move.
As TN Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and MT Attorney General Austin Knudsen report in their joint Sept. 20 press release, they are:
“…leading a coalition of 24 states alerting the Chief Executive Officers of three major credit card companies that the recent creation of a Merchant Category Code for the processing of firearms purchases from gun stores is potentially a violation of consumer protection and antitrust laws.”
Many pro-rights observers have justifiably expressed concern not only about the fact that the corporations buckled after NY City Comptroller Brad Lander, who is a trustee for three government-employee “retirement plans,” “coaxed” them into action, they also have expressed valid concerns that the adoption of a code for gun shop sales is a backdoor gun registry.
Certainly, both Mr. Lander and NY City Mayor Eric Adams have made statements implying that they will be able to access the sales data without warrant – something that undercuts the Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution.
As Skrmetti’s office notes in the September 20 press release:
“In the letter to the CEOs of American Express, Mastercard, and Visa, the attorneys general say the monitoring and tracking of firearms purchases creates a ‘list of gun buyers’ and creates the obvious risk that law-abiding consumers’ information will be obtained and misused by those who oppose Americans exercising their Second Amendment rights.”
The release adds:
“Activists (read: people like NYC’s Lander) pressured the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to adopt this policy as a means of circumventing and undermining the American legislative process.”
Of course, it should be noted that the American “legislative process” doesn’t allow politicians forcing sellers to adopt such codes; nor does it allow politicians to do anything that could infringe on the right to keep and bear arms; nor does it allow politicians to have the government collect data unless it is done via due process, via public warrant, conforming to the…
It is important here to avoid the Hegelian Dialectic, the fraudulent action of grabbing one of two or more false choices forced before us by politicians. It is important not to fall for the false dichotomy of, on the one hand, “opposing” backdoor gun registration via corporate-government connections, and, on the other hand, the so-called “alternative” of “legislative action” that would cut into the right to self-defense and freedom from arbitrary government searches.
While much of what these 24 Attorneys General appears to be salutary, these other factors are important to keep in mind.
The state governments joining Tennessee and Montana include:
Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming, and West Virginia.