GOP Lawmakers Oppose Sales Code Tracking Gun Purchases

Democratic lawmakers and anti-gun activists celebrated a recent campaign to convince credit card companies and banks to implement a new code designed to track and register the purchase of all firearms.

While proponents of the code say it is only intended to alert authorities of potential threats or dangerous trends, many critics on the right believe it is yet another step in the direction of rescinding Americans’ Second Amendment rights.

Reports this week indicate that a pair of GOP lawmakers sent a letter to the president and CEO of Amalgamated Bank to express their concerns over the latest development.

Writing to Priscilla Sims Brown, Sens. Bill Hagerty (R-TN) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) wrote that the bank has revealed its allegiance to “an anti-firearms agenda” by imposing “radical and discriminatory policies on the entire financial system.”

The senators went on to advise her that an in-depth congressional hearing is likely forthcoming.

“You should consider this notice to retain all communications involving your role in [the International Organization for Standardization’s] categorization scheme, and you should anticipate testifying before Congress in the near future,” they wrote.

In addition to claims that the new merchant category code advances the left’s anti-gun agenda, critics also point out that it will provide virtually no actionable data to authorities ostensibly concerned with preventing gun-related crime.

As The Federalist pointed out, the code applies to all purchases made in gun stores — regardless of whether a customer buys guns and ammunition or simply “a T-shirt and a bag of coffee.”

With credit card companies and banks falling in line, pro-gun advocates and high-profile conservatives have been speaking out forcefully against the plan in recent weeks.

During a recent hearing in the House, Rep. Roger Williams (R-TX) asserted: “Progressives are already cheering that this will be a huge step forward in monitoring suspicious gun purchases. Anyone who is against the rights of gun owners will want institutions to flag every single transaction with a gun [code] to law enforcement.”

Ignoring the underlying threat that the code could have a chilling effect on Americans who want to exercise their right to bear arms, Democratic proponents of the plan have frequently compared it to merchant codes applying to other industries.

“There’s long been a merchant code for florists, but I don’t see Republican attorneys general objecting,” said New York Comptroller Brad Lander. “I guess they don’t get big contributions from the florists.”