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January 17, 2023

Florida Legislators Move to Block Gun Purchase Credit Card Tracking

By Larry Keane

Florida state legislators are warning financial service providers they won’t tolerate a new scheme to track the shopping habits of gun and ammunition buyers. They’re the first state to do so and might not be the last.

“This is the United States of America. You don’t get penalized for exercising a Constitutional right. The Second Amendment is nonnegotiable, and here in Florida, we are going to fight to protect the rights of Floridians,” Republican state Sen. Danny Burgess recently proclaimed.

The move is the latest effort by Second Amendment supporters to go on offense against behemoth banking institutions that use their weight to push backdoor boardroom gun control.

Scheme and Response

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson, Sen. Burgess and Florida state Rep. John Snyder – all Republicans – are introducing the “Florida Arms and Ammo Act,” a first-in-the-nation measure to prohibit businesses from tracking Floridians’ firearm and ammo purchases.

The Florida Arms and Ammo Act is in direct response to a new effort by credit card processors to monitor and track lawful purchases by law-abiding Americans that they deem “suspicious.” The effort has been led by Amalgamated Bank CEO Priscilla Sims Brown, with The New York Times providing glowing media coverage. Sims Brown pushed the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create a credit card Merchant Category Code (MCC) to allow the banking system to track when law-abiding Americans lawfully purchase anything remotely related to firearms and ammunition.

“We’re at the very early stages of this,” Sims Brown recently told New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin, who supports the tracking scheme. But Bloomberg, of all media outlets, pointed out the proposed codes are ripe for abuse and would likely be ineffective at achieving a reduction in criminal gun misuse.

“The payment network and its banking partners would have no idea if a gun-store customer is purchasing an automatic rifle or safety equipment,” according to Bloomberg reporting.

At a press conference, Commissioner Simpson praised the Florida Arms and Ammo Act.

“We are all blessed to live in the free state of Florida where our Second Amendment rights are valued and protected…The ‘Florida Arms and Ammo Act’ draws a line in the sand and tells multi-national progressive financial institutions, and their allies in Washington, that they cannot covertly create a backdoor firearm registry of Floridians — or else,” he said.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled he wants pro-Second Amendment legislation to make it to his desk, including Constitutional Carry. With majorities in the state Senate and the House of Representatives, prospects are good for the Florida Arms and Ammo Act to reach the governor’s desk.

Neighboring State Acting Too

Florida isn’t the only state acting against “woke” financial behemoths that use their size to push gun control. Texas legislators passed, and Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed into law, the Firearm Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act in 2021 to bar financial institutions from winning state municipal bond contracts if they also implement discriminatory policies against the firearm industry. The law means they can’t benefit from taxpayer dollars while also discriminating against Texans’ Constitutional rights. It’s already had an impact in the Lone Star State.

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has also made banking discrimination against the firearm industry a priority. He fired a shot across the bow of JP Morgan Chase, sending a letter to CEO Jamie Dimon stating, “I do not believe the state of Louisiana is best served by doing business with companies that attempt to profit from the State while denying its citizens the ability to exercise their constitutional rights.”

FIND Act legislation is making its way through several state legislatures and gaining momentum. Since last year, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Texas, West Virginia and Wyoming have all seen state-level FIND Act legislation introduced.

Federal Help on The Way

In Washington, D.C., Second Amendment supporters now have the majority in the House of Representatives as Republicans won control in the 118th Congress. Efforts to block corporations and banking institutions from discriminating against the firearm industry and law-abiding Americans who support and exercise the Second Amendment are already underway.

U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Mich.) has once again introduced federal level FIND Act legislation. The bill already enjoys more than 71 co-sponsors with more joining. Rep. Bergman’s legislation mirrors the state-level laws but bars corporate entities from profiting off of taxpayer-funded federal contracts while discriminating against a Constitutionally-protected industry at the same time.

Record numbers of law-abiding Americans have purchased firearms over the past three years and they are making their voices heard at the ballot box too. They want their Constitutional rights and they won’t tolerate “woke” businesses and banks in Florida, Texas, Washington, D.C., or elsewhere scheming against them to limit their ability to exercise those rights.

You may also be interested in:

Drilling Holes in Proposed Credit Card Regulation of Gun Purchases

Gun Control Reveals Merchant Code is Stepping Stone to Watchlists and Bans

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Tags: Banking Discrimination Florida Woke Banking

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