AG Fitch joins 24-state coalition challenging banks, credit card companies tracking exercise of 2nd Amendment rights

Published 1:00 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch has joined 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.

In a letter to the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and American Express, the AGs say this monitoring and tracking 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.

“It is disappointing that the corporate sector would take this approach, jeopardizing the rights of law-abiding citizens,” Fitch said. “I will stand with Mississippians in their exercise of Seond Amendment rights, and urge Mastercard, Visa and American Express to reconsider this action.”

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The new code for gun stores the credit card companies intend to adopt is the result of transnational collusion between large corporations leveraging their market power to further progress toward their desired social outcomes. Activists pressured the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to adopt this policy as a means of circumventing and undermining the American legislative process.

“Press releases from public officials make clear that the new merchant code was created and adopted in concert with various stage actors, which may additionally create the potential for both civil and criminal liability for conspiracy to deprive Americans of their civil rights,” the coalition wrote. “Social policy should be debated and determined within our political institutions. Americans are tired of seeing corporate leverage used to advance political goals that cannot muster basic democratic support. The Second Amendment is a fundamental right, but it’s also a fundamental American value. Our financial institutions should stop lending their market power to those who wish to attack that value.”

In addition to Fitch, AGs from the following states joined the letter: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming and West Virginia.

Read the letter here.