June 14, 2023
NSSF Commends Texas Gov. Abbott for Supporting Second Amendment Rights, Protecting Financial Privacy of Gun Owners
Gov. Abbott Continues to Support Firearm Industry Protections by Enacting Financial Privacy Bill
WASHINGTON, D.C. – NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, praised Texas Gov. Greg Abbott after he signed into law legislation to safeguard the personal financial information of Texas gun owners and those making firearm industry-related purchases while using a credit card at gun retailers. Gov. Abbott enacted the financial privacy protections by signing into law HB 2837, the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act.
The new law takes effect Sept. 1, 2023, and ensures that financial institutions and credit card companies are prohibited from using a Merchant Category Code (MCC) to track and share customers’ private financial information when they purchase firearms, ammunition and related equipment and accessories at firearm retail stores. The law also protects gun owners from political and financial retaliation for exercising their Second Amendment rights and safeguards against the possible creation of a “back-door” firearm ownership registry.
“Governor Greg Abbott has done it once again and fulfilled his duties to ensure Texans know their Second Amendment rights won’t fall victim to a radical ‘woke’ antigun agenda that seeks to weaponize the credit cards in gun owners’ wallets,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President and General Counsel. “Americans exercising their right to legally purchase firearms, ammunition and other related accessories should never be concerned that their lawful and everyday purchases could be used against them by private financial service providers or government authorities simply for exercising their Second Amendment rights. The firearm retailer MCC was suspiciously created to do just that and to track names and financial data by including it in a government-accessible watchlist. Gov. Abbott put the Second Amendment barricades up for Texas gun owners by signing this critical legislation into law. Gun owners should worry about what’s in their wallet, not who’s in their wallet.”
In late 2022, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) announced it would create a unique MCC, at the behest of Amalgamated Bank, a progressive activist bank which has been described as “the Left’s Private Banker.” The firearm retailer-specific MCC would allow credit card companies to monitor transactions at firearm retailers. The major credit card companies, including Mastercard, American Express, VISA and Discover, all announced they were suspending plans to implement the unique firearm retailer MCC following significant opposition by NSSF and several state governments.
With the enactment of the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, Texas joins North Dakota, Montana, Florida, West Virginia, Mississippi and Idaho in enacting laws to protect firearm purchasers’ privacy when using credit cards at firearm retailers. Legislation similar to these state laws is pending in Congress.
Two years ago, in June 2021, Gov. Abbott took a nation-leading role by being the first governor to sign into law the Financial Industry Nondiscrimination (FIND) Act to prevent “woke” corporations from profiting from Texas taxpayer dollars and using those profits to fund efforts to deny those same taxpayers their Second Amendment rights. That law requires corporations seeking to do business with the state and local governments to certify that they hold no policies that discriminate against firearms or ammunition companies and will not implement any such policies while the contracts are in force. The law ensures that taxpayer-funded contracts aren’t used to benefit policies that discriminate against and deny services to firearm and ammunition-related businesses.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.