- Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson along with two Republican state legislators introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban data collection of firearm and ammunition purchases, alleging the practice violates the Second Amendment, a press release said.
- The “Florida Arms and Ammo Act” would fine credit card companies up to $10,000 per violation.
- In September, the International Organization for Standardization approved the creation of a merchant code for firearms retailers to use with credit and debit card transactions.
Florida officials introduced legislation Tuesday that would prohibit financial institutions from collecting data on firearm and ammunition purchases, alleging that it violates the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, according to a press release.
In September, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved the use of a merchant code for firearms stores, which financial institutions, such as credit card companies, can voluntarily adopt to track firearm-related purchases. The “Florida Arms and Ammo Act” would fine credit card companies up to $10,000 per violation, according to WTSP10News. (RELATED: ‘Orwellian’: New Gun Sales Tracker Opens The Door To ‘Privatized Government Surveillance,’ Experts Say)
Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson, Republican state Sen. Danny Burgess and Republican state Rep. John Snyder unveiled the legislation, according to the release.
“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,” Simpson said in the release.
“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,” Burgess said in the release.
— Off The Press (@OffThePress1) January 11, 2023
The ISO is a non-governmental organization that votes to create business standards across global transactions, according to its website. It currently has 167 countries as members.
New York-based Amalgamated Bank, which is the country’s largest union-owned bank, initially requested ISO adopt a separate code for guns and ammunition in 2021, which the organization denied, citing potential harm to small business. Visa, American Express and Mastercard announced that they would adopt the code, CNN reported.
Experts previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the newly approved code could open the door to “privatized government surveillance” of American citizens.
“If you go into a gun store, presumably, particularly with larger purchases, they’re going to at least try to infer that it is probable you bought a firearm,” John Harris, a lawyer who heads the Tennessee Firearms Association, previously told the DCNF. “It could expand the trend we see where certain banks or credit card companies may say ‘we’re not going to allow a company with a particular ISO code to use our services.’”
Congressional Democrats believe the new code will assist law enforcement in stopping so-called “domestic terrorism” and mass shootings, urging American Express, Visa and Mastercard to track gun and ammunition purchases.
“If governments or credit card companies start to require certain purchase patterns at gun stores be reported to police, that could put a lot of innocent people under suspicion depending on how broad the criteria are,” Stephen Gutowski, a gun expert who founded firearms policy outlet The Reload, told the DCNF.
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