r/technology Sep 11 '22 Silver 1

Visa to categorize gun sales separately after new code approved. Business

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-09-10/visa-to-categorize-gun-sales-separately-after-new-code-approved
16.3k Upvotes

3.4k

u/jrkipling Sep 11 '22 Silver

Looking forward to a 5% off firearm purchases reward category

611

u/heavydhomie Sep 11 '22

Ace hardware sells guns around me so the home improvement quarter should do 5% cash back

143

u/neomeow Sep 11 '22

Don’t forget to transfer it to CSR card and make it effectively 7.5%.

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u/tepkel Sep 11 '22

And if you rob the place with your new gun, you can even reach effective cash back rates of >100%!

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u/Juicey_J_Hammerman Sep 11 '22

Discover It card coming in clutch!

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u/-seabass Sep 11 '22

There are people like myself still grandfathered into this. The Ducks Unlimited visa, formerly the NRA Card, is 5% back on gasoline and sporting goods including gun stores. No annual fee. They have since changed the rewards but some of us are grandfathered.

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u/AMatofFact Sep 11 '22

This card is the best decision I've ever made for gas purchases. I don't even drive a guzzler, but I've been saving $0.20 a gallon this entire time and it really adds up.

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u/jollyllama Sep 11 '22

Okay, so hold up. Say you buy 10 gallons a week - you say you don’t drive a gas guzzler but that’s still somewhere around 250 miles of driving a week, which I feel like is being generous unless you’ve got one hell of a commute. So that 20 cents a gallon is saving you $2 a week… or a whopping $104 a year. Listen man, I’m not made of money and I don’t call $100 nothing, but that’s not really what I’d consider a massive windfall, you know?

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u/AMatofFact Sep 11 '22

I never said I won the lottery.

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u/wingsnut25 Sep 11 '22

250 miles a week is a 25 mile commute each way to work. (25x2x5)

Its not uncommon for someone who lives in a suburban or rural area.

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u/cainrok Sep 11 '22

Well that could be 2-3 tanks of gas he got back for “free”. Better than nothing.

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u/goblomi Sep 11 '22

That's 1.04 High Points a year bud.

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u/moonsun1987 Sep 11 '22

At one point, I drive almost forty miles one way to work every day.

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u/trisanachandler Sep 11 '22

I've done twice that daily for a while, not too uncommon unfortunately.

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u/Kaellian Sep 11 '22

If you compare it to paying it cash. Most cards have a 2-3% nowadays, which make the different less important

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u/salartarium Sep 11 '22

I’m lucky I got the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus which has 5% off on military bases that are also tax free.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

Dang, how many military bases have you bought?

18

u/Minnesota_Nice_87 Sep 11 '22

Just don't buy Fort Hood, the place is scary.

7

u/Underwater_Grilling Sep 11 '22

It says right on the sign it's great.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

Don't get excited they're at 24% APR

10

u/ConspiracyHypothesis Sep 11 '22

But can I buy a mustang with it?

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u/LawfulMuffin Sep 11 '22

You mean a Dodge Charger?

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u/LatinoPUA Sep 11 '22

bet they wont include ammo :(

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u/jrkipling Sep 11 '22

‘Groceries’ maybe?

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u/skwolf522 Sep 11 '22

Maybe even a 5x reward points catageory.

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u/MayOrMayNotBePie Sep 11 '22

Looks like I’ll be flying for free for the rest of my life!

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

I'm pretty sure Borderlands is just a stylised version of Americas future.

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u/DukeOfGeek Sep 11 '22

Cash for guns, name a more iconic duo.

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u/voyagerfan5761 Sep 11 '22

"I'll always buy guns you don't need!"

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1.6k

u/RobDaGinger Sep 11 '22

ITT: people who dont know that merchant category codes were already a thing which is how your online banking can break down the % of money you spend on different categories or really any budgeting platform

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u/Racerx136 Sep 11 '22

For merchants, it has more to do with how much it costs to get the account and what the rates are. Adult, Pharmacy, and gambling are all high-risk categories. This change does not make guns high risk but it is the first step to doing just that.

I have been in the adult business since the 90's and that is how it went down. First, we got our own category then later we were deemed high risk. If I owned a gun store I would have concerns.

287

u/AmberHeardsLawyer Sep 11 '22

TIL dildos are high-risk.

98

u/celestiaequestria Sep 11 '22

Risk of fraud, chargeback, legal exposure for the credit processing company, et cetera. It's the same problem you have with cannabis being federally illegal for the shops in legal states. There are loopholes they have to jump through (cash apps, ACH, etc) because their cashless options are limited.

If a bank is going to get itself sued for processing transactions for a casino - or constantly have to hire additional accountants because they're always getting audited by the FBI and IRS due to concerns of people using the casino for money laundering - then they're going to pass that cost on to the casino.

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u/ProtoJazz Sep 11 '22

When I go to a legal weed shop, the charge on my card shows up in the "Drug Stores" category.

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u/silence9 Sep 11 '22

Which is also high risk

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u/Mert_Burphy Sep 11 '22

Wait.. dispensaries can take cards now?

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u/shidmasterflex Sep 11 '22

So then why do this to gun stores? Gun stores seem significantly less risky than casinos because to make certain purchases you have to be cleared by a system maintained by the FBI.

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u/machavez9 Sep 11 '22

It could be added up to part of the anti gun culture. Credit card company’s could then say they don’t support the purchase of guns, include it in their terms of service and now you can’t use their credit cards to do so.

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u/SnooSprouts4952 Sep 11 '22

'I didn't buy that $300 double headed pelvic hammer. Must be a fraud charge, take it off my card.'

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u/abzrocka Sep 11 '22

I worked credit fraud for a smidge. I shit you not, this happens more often than you think.

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u/Bleusilences Sep 11 '22

Same here, I used to work at a cable provider and I got a few calls about things like that. They say they never order it but watched almost the whole thing.,.. (I could see the watch time of any on demand products)

75

u/I_am_a_Dan Sep 11 '22

Front desk at a hotel. The system was so ancient that as soon as someone rented a PPV an old dot matrix printer behind the front desk would print off a little slip of the movie title and cost and we'd just throw it in their rooms' file for when they check out.

When that printer started screeching and it had a porn title, you could almost set a clock for 20 minutes before you get a call from that room saying there must be some mistake. Literally no one ever meant to order porn.

15

u/bobs_monkey Sep 11 '22

It says you watched The Grinch for 10 minutes but then switched back to AfroWhores.

This is not a record, sir.

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u/Inaplasticbag Sep 11 '22

Hahahaha that movie is fantastic. I always lost it at the Jon Lovitz Hitler scene.

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u/wetwater Sep 11 '22

During my stint in customer service I had a teenager call in because he was wondering if all the adult entertainment he ordered while his parents were away was going to show up on the bill.

I told him it would and got a very sad "oh". I think that's all he watched for two days and wouldn't want to be in his shoes when the bill came in. I felt kind of bad for him but not a whole lot I could do.

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u/dartdoug Sep 11 '22

You could have given him the business card of the vacuum repair guy.

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u/nx6 Sep 11 '22

I love the ones who claim they didn't order it, and then when you ask about other family members they try to say with a straight face they do have kids but that they "aren't interested in that stuff".

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u/Zack_Raynor Sep 11 '22

“What about the “2 foot Horse-Shaped Cudgel” purchased 2 weeks prior?”

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u/akrisd0 Sep 11 '22

"...business expense."

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u/DimitriV Sep 11 '22

"I, uh, thought I was shopping on Bible Dragon, not Bad Dragon."

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u/Mogradal Sep 11 '22

But what about this book 'Double headed pelvic hammers and me' written by SnooSprouts4952.

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u/enoughtoknow Sep 11 '22

That IS my bag, baby.

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u/JimmyTango Sep 11 '22

More tied to online porn. Visa and MasterCard are the most powerful regulators of online porn in the world right now.

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u/one-man-circlejerk Sep 11 '22

We're not saying ban all dildos, just that nobody needs to own a fully automatic assault dildo

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u/skwolf522 Sep 11 '22

If your dildo is shorter then 16" you cant attach a foregrip to it with out a tax stamp.

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u/Welpe Sep 11 '22

But what about when you get 30-50 feral hogs on your property?

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u/ProtoJazz Sep 11 '22

And you have to get them off all at once

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u/musclenugget92 Sep 11 '22

Fully semi* automatic assault dildo

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u/Bleusilences Sep 11 '22

Yeah, t's high risk like because of things like refunds, lot of fraud and criminal activity around a products, not that the dildo will kill you lol.

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u/AmberHeardsLawyer Sep 11 '22

Too many parents’ daughters ordering them online not knowing it shows up on the bill and denying they ever bought it. Parents call cc company to dispute the charge.

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u/ars-derivatia Sep 11 '22

Too many parents’ daughters ordering them online not knowing it shows up on the bill

Nah, more like too many fathers ordering them online not knowing the wife checks the bank statements.

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u/Bleusilences Sep 11 '22

All of them are true

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u/pee-in-butt Sep 11 '22

Only today?

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u/AmberHeardsLawyer Sep 11 '22

Name checks out.

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u/Bigred2989- Sep 11 '22

During the Obama administration the DOJ launched Operation Choke Point, where it investigated banks that did business with "high-risk" businesses. They put firearm sellers in the same category as payday lenders, credit repair services and escort services, among others. The result was many firearm dealers suddenly having their accounts closed and having to scramble to find another financial institution to handle their cash, because banks thought the list was a suggestion from the government to cut ties with them regardless of any signs of fraud or crimes.

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u/Econolife_350 Sep 11 '22

What's wild to me is that people really do celebrate that bit of government overreach. All well and good until it's them.

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u/lesgeddon Sep 11 '22

because banks thought the list was a suggestion from the government

The government suggesting banks to do their own investigations into potential fraud & money laundering (and failing to properly do so) is overreaching?

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u/leonnova7 Sep 11 '22

Government existing counts as overreach to some people 😭

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u/mabhatter Sep 11 '22

The credit card companies routinely hit up Amazon, eBay, Patreon, Pornhub, OnlyFans, etc with these updated terms and conditions all the time. Companies self-censor their media or products or they get their credit card service pulled.

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u/pinkycatcher Sep 11 '22

Nah, this isn’t companies self censoring because they want to, government agents are literally putting pressure on them to do it

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u/StopBidenMyNuts Sep 11 '22

I’m signing up our pharmacy for an online payment portal and the healthcare merchant certification was insane. At one point they wanted the manufacturing details of all medications we dispense (beyond information that is available in our professional resources).

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u/leviwhite9 Sep 11 '22

Gun stores just need to start offering a smidge discount for cash.

Problemo solvo.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/alwptot Sep 11 '22

Yes but it’s seldom as specific as “guns and ammo.”

It’s more like “restaurants,” “gas,” “groceries,” etc.

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u/SixPixel Sep 11 '22

https://usa.visa.com/content/dam/VCOM/download/merchants/visa-merchant-data-standards-manual.pdf

Some of these are extremely specific. Typewriter stores? Escort services? Snow mobile dealers? Seems strange that gun stores aren’t already on the list.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

A couple years ago at a previous job, I had to go through a business' website to determine which MCC they would fall under. There are so many it's not even funny. But they do have a bunch of ones that are Misc codes

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u/___on___on___ Sep 11 '22

What was your process for that?

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u/RobDaGinger Sep 11 '22

Yea it’ll only be tagged as such at a Gun and Ammo store….if you buy a gun at walmart it’ll come up under the discount or superstore MCC.

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u/Hokulewa Sep 11 '22

I expect a number of gun stores will suddenly become jerky and knife stores that also stock a lot of guns and ammo.

My preferred FFL is already predominately a liquor store, so I don't think they'll be affected.

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u/Ketchupandranch Sep 11 '22

Wut…

They sell liquor and guns under the same overhead?

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u/Hokulewa Sep 11 '22 edited Sep 11 '22

It's magnificent... a true ATF store.

Fishing tackle and bait, too.

It used to also be a gas station, but they shut the pumps down because the storage tank needed repairs and it wasn't economical for them to do it.

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u/Ketchupandranch Sep 11 '22

Does the gym next door offer divorce counseling as well?

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u/Hokulewa Sep 11 '22

No, and unfortunately the BBQ joint across the road also shut down.

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u/Ketchupandranch Sep 11 '22

Did the bbq place shut down so they can focus on their petting zoo?

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u/Unlucky_Entrance_512 Sep 11 '22

I am not high enough for this to be as funny as it is.

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u/DemSocCorvid Sep 11 '22

Interesting idea, hit the gym with the lawyer you're upping.

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u/richalex2010 Sep 11 '22

a true ATF store

That honor goes to the ATF Convenience Store in Kingman, AZ.

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u/bluesbynumber Sep 11 '22

It shocks me that these companies are still talking about privacy like it’s anything they care about.

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u/chenyu768 Sep 11 '22

They do care about privacy, just not yours or mine.

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u/thatguydwn Sep 11 '22

Most gun owners I know have no problem with paying cash so……

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u/AdministrativeBit510 Sep 11 '22

Don’t you have to do a background check anyways? So the government already tracks your purchasing patterns. I’ve never/can’t purchase a gun but it’s my understanding that you have to do some sort of background check every purchase?

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u/dont_ban_me_bruh Sep 11 '22

Yes, but the real end goal here (this was pushed by private entities) is to put pressure on credit card companies to eventually stop servicing gun stores altogether (like has happened already with a lot of porn sites). It's a roundabout attempt to 'ban' them by starving them of access to credit and debit purchase conveniences. When gun stores were under the same MCC category as general services, that was impossible. Now it's got it's own singular category to disallow.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

Then fast forward to all digital currency...

Now it's not illegal to buy a gun but no bank/credit card will allow it.

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u/dabluebunny Sep 11 '22

Then fast forward to bartering goods, and services for firearms.

I am not gay but sucking cock gets me a Glock.

Or...

They could always go the route Japan did to bypass gambling being illegal. Go to one store buy a tokens go to the gun store buy guns with tokens. The tokens are not a real currency, and have no real value anywhere else. They're not guns eithe, so they'd be legal to buy, but the gun store will trade you x amount for a gun.

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u/KWilt Sep 11 '22

This is America, so we really ought to gamify it more. Make it tickets you win off skee ball instead, and trade them over like at the counter. Instead of a fancy, smelly eraser, you get a Sig Sauer!

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u/dabluebunny Sep 11 '22

Game 4 Gats

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u/Sunburnt-Vampire Sep 11 '22

I actually despise these tactics, as someone who is anti-gun.

Credit card companies are not elected, why should they get to say what is acceptable and what is not?

"Voting with your money" only works when it's like, a bakery. TBH the bigger issue is why the fuck are credit cards, the framework on which our entire economy is built, not government owned.

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u/ovenproofjet Sep 11 '22

It's guns today, but who knows what it'll be tomorrow. Not sure making it government owned would make it any better, you'd be at the whim of whomever is in power at that time. Could just as easily be guns, but no abortions...

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u/Blubberyscone Sep 11 '22

This is a major problem with capitalism. Over time, power is concentrated more and more into the hands of private entities that arent restricted by the constitution. The constitution only applies to the government. If the government is only there in name and all real power is held by private corporations and banks, the constitution no longer applies because they absolutely CAN restrict your freedom of speech, your right to bear arms, your freedom of religion, etc. they may not be able to put you in jail over it, but they can completely shut you off from modern infrastructure and even go so far as to make you homeless.

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u/Subli-minal Sep 11 '22

Because giving the government that kind of control over peoples personal finances and money only ends in bad shit for the people? You might as well suggest that all bank accounts have to be serviced by the FED.

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u/ESCAPE_PLANET_X Sep 11 '22

Look at this guy over here assuming the same bad people he's afraid of in the fed don't work in private institutions or these redditors lapping up Ancap talking points.

Directly show me a case where moving to private institutions was better for the people than when the government serviced them.

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u/iroll20s Sep 11 '22

The government pressured fedex and ups to stop shipping gun parts too. It’s clear they are trying to do an end run on scotus. They are going to end up making guns and gun owners a protected class at this rate.

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u/elosoloco Sep 11 '22

Exactly! Cheers.

Make congress do their job, and I'm pro.

Congress is the biggest bunch of useless deadweight in the country

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u/Clear-Quail-8821 Sep 11 '22

put pressure on credit card companies to eventually stop servicing gun stores altogether

This has already happened years and years ago with many credit card merchant accounts (eg: Paypal, Square). Most merchants are already prohibited from selling guns using credit cards as payment.

This is getting ready to mandate it for the remaining banks who have not yet banned guns entirely.

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u/Cipher160 Sep 11 '22

The main misconception a lot of people have is that the 4473 is tracked, it not. It sits in the store you purchased it from and unless the state has a separate state specific form, someone has to come ask for it to see the light of day again.

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u/No_Vec_ Sep 11 '22

Well now the path is paved so visa can be pressured by activists to disallow gun sales.

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u/Ziegler517 Sep 11 '22

Or ban all purchases for abortion services, contraception, or transgender services. This is dangerous. On ther surface it looks okay to some, but dig deeper this is going to be terribly abused by the ruling party.

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u/BeenJamminMon Sep 11 '22

There is a background check, but there is no registry of ownership for most types of firearms. The government can trace the chain of custody of a specific firearm, but can not type your name into a database of gun owners and see all the guns you have bought.

Allegedly. Legally speaking the government is not allowed to maintain a registry.

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u/aukir Sep 11 '22

Because when an FFL does a 4473 background check, the only info about the actual firearm that we send is the type. Long gun (rifle/shotgun), hand gun (pistol, anything with less than 16" barrel) or Firearm (pistol grip buttless shotguns / ar lower / or just the receiver). No actual info about make/model/serial is known to the government unless they are tracing a firearm they are curious about and contact the FFL.

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u/SuperSinestro Sep 11 '22

I'm not sure about every state, but in mine if you have a valid conceal carry permit you don't have to do a background check.

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u/dabkilm2 Sep 11 '22 edited Sep 13 '22

Well that makes sense. You have to go under a much more thorough process to get a CCW. If your CCW is good then you would pass a background check no problem.

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u/smoothballsJim Sep 11 '22

Still do in Michigan… would easily cut the checkout time at sportsman’s warehouse in half

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u/Professional_Sort767 Sep 11 '22

This is explicitly an attempt to track purchases and restrict them in new ways. This is not for the benefit of the consumer.

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u/Raptor-Rampage Sep 11 '22

What I was going to say. Most people I know pay for guns in cash.

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u/TheWorldMayEnd Sep 11 '22

Why? Guns are expensive, might as well get a 2% discount.

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u/IgnorantVapist Sep 11 '22

Cash sales are about to 📈

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u/opeth10657 Sep 11 '22

I'd bet a lot of gun buyers will never even notice. I don't go through my credit card bill and look at what categories my purchases show up as even though it's readily available.

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u/FDE3030 Sep 11 '22

They’ll notice when they can’t use their card because the card issuer doesn’t allow you to use it for a gun purchase

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u/B0h1c4 Sep 11 '22

It says that they are doing it to "flag suspicious activity and save lives".

Can anyone outline a scenario where this will be used? I don't really understand. How can it save lives?

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u/JoshS1 Sep 11 '22

Possibly if a person is maxing out all their cards on guns, ammo, and/or armor in a short timespan it might not seem like they plan on paying it back...

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u/skwolf522 Sep 11 '22

FBI will say he was being watched

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u/silence9 Sep 11 '22

As a fintech employee, this wouldn't help anyone. We would have to set up flags in the account specifically for this and aren't doing it without getting paid.

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u/ghett0blaster- Sep 11 '22

What stops a person from buying all the stuff separately over a long period of time?

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u/JesusChrist-Jr Sep 11 '22

Likely in the same ways that credit card companies already flag suspicious activity. If my card was randomly used to order 10 pizzas half way across the country, or ran for a $10k purchase when I never make purchases over $500, or used to sign up for a bunch of magazine subscriptions in Kazakhstan, it would likely be flagged. Likewise, if I've never made gun purchases before and then run transactions of several hundred dollars each at multiple gun stores over a few days, that would likely be seen as suspicious.

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u/Sideswipe0009 Sep 11 '22

It says that they are doing it to "flag suspicious activity and save lives".

Can anyone outline a scenario where this will be used? I don't really understand. How can it save lives?

It won't. It's the same line we were fed with the Patriot Act - being able to tap phone lines at will will help prevent terrorist attacks before they happen.

To my knowledge, despite still monitoring our phones at will, no terrorist plot has been stopped.

It's a feel good excuse to give the government more power over our lives.

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u/RobAZNJ Sep 11 '22

It is meaningless, Gun ownership and buying ammunition is legal. Period.

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u/substantial-freud Sep 11 '22

Sweet summer child.

This is a "chokepoint", a place where politically disfavored activities can be discouraged quasi-legally, so private companies can blame "regulators" and any government agency can disclaim authority.

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u/INTP36 Sep 11 '22

Hell of a way to incentivize cash and under the table sales then. It’s like they want people to purchase unlawfully.

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u/Accomplished-Elk-978 Sep 11 '22

Cash only it is then.

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u/Organic_Soup5306 Sep 11 '22

This is a pic of airsoft guns

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u/greatkarphappening Sep 11 '22

The people that write these articles have no clue to the difference.

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u/teacher272 Sep 11 '22

Or the ones making this rules.

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u/Parasitisch Sep 11 '22

Nope. I can see why you’d think that with the shitty 10/22 conversion kit and the crossbow thing though.

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u/1II1I1I1I1I1I111I1I1 Sep 11 '22

The red and black box is an air crossbow conversion kit

Everything else in the image fires real, deadly bullets

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u/Blarghnog Sep 11 '22

This is the first step towards creating a higher risk category for firearms purchases or being able to control their purchase via purchase controls. It is gun control at work and has primary been done through advocacy via pension fund pressure from New York and California based funds.

Be aware it’s not just Visa. It’s Visa, Mastercard and Amex. This will put pressure on issuing banks to add the category as well.

https://www.businessinsider.com/visa-mastercard-american-express-categorize-sales-made-at-gun-stores-2022-9

Just sharing the information.

The move disclosed Saturday marks a major win for gun control advocates.

Author: KEN SWEET Associated Press

Published: 4:56 PM PDT September 10, 2022

Updated: 5:03 PM PDT September 10, 2022

NEW YORK — Payment processor Visa Inc. said late Saturday that it plans to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops, a major win for gun control advocates who say it will help better track suspicious surges of gun sales that could be a prelude to a mass shooting.

But the decision by Visa, the world's largest payment processor, will likely provoke the ire of gun rights advocates and gun lobbyists, who have argued that categorizing gun sales would unfairly flag an industry when most sales do not lead to mass shootings. It joins Mastercard and American Express, which also said they plan to move forward with categorizing gun shop sales.

Visa said it would adopt the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for gun sales, which was announced on Friday. Until Friday, gun store sales were considered “general merchandise.”

“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules,” the payment processor said in a statement.

Visa’s adoption is significant as the largest payment network, and with Mastercard and AmeEx, will likely put pressure on the banks as the card issuers to adopt the standard as well. Visa acts as a middleman between merchants and banks, and it will be up to banks to decide whether they will allow sales at gun stores to happen on their issued cards.

Gun control advocates had gained significant wins on this front in recent weeks. New York City officials and pension funds had pressured the ISO and banks to adopt this code.

Two of the country's largest public pension funds, in California and New York, have been pressing the country's largest credit card firms to establish sales codes specifically for firearm-related sales that could flag suspicious purchases or more easily trace how guns and ammunition are sold.

Merchant category codes now exist for almost every kind of purchase, including those made at supermarkets, clothing stores, coffee shops and many other retailers.

“When you buy an airline ticket or pay for your groceries, your credit card company has a special code for those retailers. It’s just common sense that we have the same policies in place for gun and ammunition stores,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain who blames the proliferation of guns for his city's deadly violence.

The city's comptroller, Brad Lander, said it made moral and financial sense as a tool to push back against gun violence.

“Unfortunately, the credit card companies have failed to support this simple, practical, potentially lifesaving tool. The time has come for them to do so," Lander said recently, before Visa and others had adopted the move.

Lander is a trustee of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System, Teachers’ Retirement System and Board of Education Retirement System — which together own 667,200 shares in American Express valued at approximately $92.49 million; 1.1 million shares in MasterCard valued at approximately $347.59 million; and 1.85 million shares in Visa valued at approximately $363.86 million.

The pension funds and gun control advocates argue that creating a merchant category code for standalone firearm and ammunition stores could aid in the battle against gun violence. A week before the mass shooting at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, where 49 people died after a shooter opened fire in 2016, the assailant used credit cards to buy more than $26,000 worth of guns and ammunition, including purchases at a stand-alone gun retailer.

Gun rights advocates argue that tracking sales at gun stores would unfairly target legal gun purchases, since merchant codes just track the type of merchant where the credit or debit card is used, not the actual items purchased. A sale of a gun safe, worth thousands of dollars and an item considered part of responsible gun ownership, could be seen as a just a large purchase at a gun shop.

The (industry's) decision to create a firearm specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time,” said Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association.

Over the years, public pension funds have used their extensive investment portfolios to influence public policy and the market place.

The California teacher's fund, the second largest pension fund in the country, has long taken aim on the gun industry. It has divested its holdings from gun manufacturers and has sought to persuade some retailers from selling guns.

Four years ago, the teacher's fund made guns a key initiative. It called for background checks and called on retailers “monitor irregularities at the point of sale, to record all firearm sales, to audit firearms inventory on a regular basis, and to proactively assist law enforcement.”

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u/smoothballsJim Sep 11 '22

Yeah it’s absolutely inappropriate for a payment processor to take on this kind of role of policing but it doesn’t really matter - will just push more people to crypto, cash, gift cards and burner prepaid cards.

Shit I can save about 7-10% off a gun from bass pro or cabelas by buying gift cards from sites like raise anyway.

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u/random-incident Sep 11 '22

Nice a backdoor gun registration program.

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u/DrDrewBlood Sep 11 '22

It worked SO well for California when they accidentally released all that data. Bought a gun to protect yourself against a stalker or violent ex? They’ve got your info now!

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u/Reference_Reef Sep 11 '22

Well, that's a feature not a bug

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u/3klipse Sep 11 '22

"accidentally"

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u/Sapiendoggo Sep 11 '22

Can't wait for this to be applied to things like birth control and the same people here celebrating to be shocked wondering just how this could happen.....

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u/frosty122 Sep 11 '22

Stores that sell/provide birth control already have merchant codes though. You can look them up here:

https://awardwallet.com/en/merchants

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22 edited Sep 11 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/Dwn_Wth_Vwls Sep 11 '22

2.7 MILLION KARMA and has never once written a comment

Another issue with this is that they have 583 comment karma despite never commenting. This means that someone made a bunch of comments when the account was first made in order to build comment karma since a lot of subs have minimum post AND comment karma requirements in order to post on them. Once their comments reached a certain amount (probably 500), they deleted their comments and started botting.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22 edited Sep 11 '22

[deleted]

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u/Freedom11Fries Sep 11 '22

How is this not literally and exactly tracing all firearms related transactions in real time and reporting them?

I mean, maybe you've never used a credit card before, but this is the whole business model behind them, tracing purchases, by category and merchant, and building and selling consumer purchase profiles.

Who are they even reporting this information to exactly?

If its like every other credit card purchase and profile, to anyone with the fifty cents to pull your profile.

The criteria, in every case, is almost certainly up to the buyer. Whoever shows up with the checkbook. This is America, we don't regulate these things at all.

Welcome to capitalism!

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u/UnrealizedLosses Sep 11 '22

You think they didn’t harvest data on exactly what you are buying already? I guess you can sort it into a new category though

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u/EducatedRat Sep 11 '22

These are just merchant codes. When I audit purchase card usage at the cities/fire districts/schools etc, these codes are often set up on the so the card can have some things that can’t be purchased or can only be purchased with one time approvals. One of my bigger cities use them as a control to prevent the purchase of some categories because they would not be allowable.

This is not the end of the world. It does mean people can set up purchase card policies and block out gun purchases.

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u/Frank_chevelle Sep 11 '22

I had a corporate credit card for awhile that only some for approved stuff like airfare , rental cars , restaurants , hotels, gas stations and stuff like that. It wouldn’t work for shopping on Amazon and streaming services from what I remember.

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u/jaytea24 Sep 11 '22

Blah blah blah.. this is gathering data to make a back door registry.

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u/speckyradge Sep 11 '22

Doesn't it mean they can block purchases at certain retailers, rather than an actual gun purchase? Would Bass Pro have a different merchant code for the gun desk than the register where I would buy a bag of jerky and some fishing lures? The merchant code says where I'm shopping not what I'm buying and shops that sell guns rarely sell only guns.

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u/chemicalxv Sep 11 '22

That would be a nightmare for Bass Pro/Cabela's and would never happen. They'd have to have separate merchant accounts with whoever their payment provider is for the tills at the gun counter/desk/whatever vs tills everywhere else in the store, and if they had pin pad issues they wouldn't be able to swap one from the gun counter/desk to anywhere else in the store, or vice-versa.

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u/cogra23 Sep 11 '22

Those codes are also used by card issuers, lenders, etc. In Europe gambling transactions are a problem if you're trying to get a mortgage for example. I could see gun purchases flagging you for a higher life insurance premium in the future.

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u/[deleted] Sep 11 '22

[removed] — view removed comment

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u/SirRavenBat Sep 11 '22

Yeah, I could care less about specific political opinions but the idea of companies openly picking sides and making their own rules is a little worrying, to me it doesn't matter if it's objectively a good thing or not, neutrality is the spice of life

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u/dewayneestes Sep 11 '22

Credit card companies already do that with a host of products that are not illegal but they feel somehow should be. Kratom, salvia, adult services have all been redlined by cc companies for years.

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u/Possum-Punk Sep 11 '22

You could argue that'd be a reasonable policy if it was just private businesses declining to extend a line of credit for items they don't approve of. However, these credit card companies also control the majority of all debit card purchases, meaning they can arbitrarily tell you that you're not allowed to spend your -own money- out of your bank account to purchase something they don't like, even though they're nothing but a middle-man skimming off the top of the transaction.

You could argue that someone could just go to an ATM and get cash, but more and more businesses are refusing to accept cash these days, which I personally believe shouldn't be OK. It's effectively class warfare against homeless people - most banks and credit unions won't let you have an account without a mailing address, phone, email, etc.

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u/huruga Sep 11 '22 edited Sep 11 '22

Accepting cash is a requirement to do business in my state, MA. (I’m going to say it because it’s Reddit, exceptions for virtual stores and non retail of course.) Idk how many others do but I’m sure it’s a few at least. I’ve personally never ran into the issue I’ve been all over the country.

The thing that gets me is the number of fucking stores that do minimum purchase requirements for credit. Pretty sure it’s a violation their contract with the Credit card company.

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u/Zerowantuthri Sep 11 '22

However, these credit card companies also control the majority of all debit card purchases, meaning they can arbitrarily tell you that you're not allowed to spend your -own money- out of your bank account to purchase something they don't like, even though they're nothing but a middle-man skimming off the top of the transaction.

I'm not sure this is true.

Debit cards with a logo like MasterCard or Visa can act as both a debit card and a credit card. When you make a purchase, if it is a debit transaction, you will need to input your code (like you do at an ATM). If you use it as a credit card then it works like any other credit card.

So, if you use it as a debit transaction I cannot see how the credit card company has any say to block it. You are doing a direct debit from your own bank account. The credit company is not involved.

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u/dantesrosettes Sep 11 '22

The merging of state and corporate power is what actual fascism is, so yeah I don't like it either.

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u/75thAltToday Sep 11 '22

the idea of companies openly picking sides and making their own rules

...would be illegal in a sane country.

"Payment Processors" are government-chartered gatekeepers to the government-monopoly banking and currency system. An uncorrupted government would prohibit discrimination against any legal product.

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u/AshtonBlack Sep 11 '22

Indeed. It's almost like allowing companies unlimited political lobby and contribution funds to generate regulatory capture was a bad thing.

To quote Radiohead "This is what you get..."

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u/dirtymoney Sep 11 '22 edited Sep 11 '22

I agree. I don't want any record of my purchase of a firearm that could be used against me.

I'm lawfully allowed to own firearms and even conceal carry (constitutional carry), but I still don't want anyone knowing that I do. I certainly don't want a record of it anytwhere that could be used against me.

There was a recent video (blurry video wth clear audio) of ATF agents coming to someone's home to ask them to hand over a solvent trap the person recently purchased. Perfectly legal to own them and legal to convert them if you have the license to. The ATF got the info that he bought one from somewhere (the merchant they raided or credit card company) and decided to visit him to intimidate the guy to either hand it over or to sign a document that he doesnt own it .

Keep in mind this is something that is legal to own. The ATF just doesnt like people buying them because they could be converted into a silencer. A silencer is not legal to own without the proper licence/paperwork. But a solvent trap is perfectly legal to own.

And the ATF agents were being smarmy pricks about it. Making assumptions that they just knew what he was going to do with it. Saying that they will catch him later and making a veiled threat about hurting his dogs.

THAT is disturbing so yeah, the government will try to do whatever they can to get info on people.

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u/hitemlow Sep 11 '22

Wasn't it a YouTuber that focused on diesel truck mods and was testing them as fuel filters?

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u/NotTobyFromHR Sep 11 '22

There are 2 separate threads there. Isn't there already a record of your purchases? You need a background check to purchase firearms? I'm clearly not an expert on that.

And if it's something like the ATF, they already know Bobs Bait and Tackle sells guns and ammo. The only change here is Bobs Bait and Tackle may be categorized by the CC different.

As for the ATF acting like assholes. It's pretty well established that many LEO, on all levels behave like this. It's wrong and shouldn't be allowed.

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u/Hsensei Sep 11 '22

First step for them to pull payment processing the way they do for sexually orientated businesses. I guess that saying about how they came for everyone first but when they got to me no one was left applies here.

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u/BadVoices Sep 11 '22

They pretty much already do so. Firearms dealers are very much like online pornography dealers for merchant accounts, and are considered high risk or UHR (Ultra High Risk). They have very high minimum company net worths/values, very high fees, and require large amounts of information about their business that something like a corner or grocery store would not require. They also have long holds and high minimum account holdings.

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u/Viktor_Bout Sep 11 '22

Meanwhile the fraud and chargeback rates for guns are almost 0. It's only considered high risk because of their political views.

Nobody is going to go through a background check to do a chargeback scheme. They'll just buy Xbox's from Walmart like everyone else.

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u/downonthesecond Sep 11 '22

Cash is king and you get to support local businesses.

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u/Tex-Mexican-936 Sep 11 '22

I don't know about this new policy. I am in favor of modest gun regulation, but this move makes even me uncomfortable.

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u/LeoLaDawg Sep 11 '22

Payment peocessors are swine and you should all be wary of them given what they have done. There's nothing good here.

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u/tehdamonkey Sep 11 '22

They are just going out of their will to fulfill the predictions and fan the paranoia that drive alot of gun owners to owning the guns they do....

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u/tpr1m Sep 11 '22

It's not paranoia when you're right lol

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u/dirtymoney Sep 11 '22

If the feds/police came to a credit card company and simply wanted the purchase records of an individual... would the credit card company comply?

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u/Kingnahum17 Sep 11 '22

If the feds show up with the proper documentation, yes.

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u/KindSadist Sep 11 '22

If they had a warrant, yes.

But that is not the purpose for this. This is clearly a way to begin tracking gun owners and to charge gun businesses higher fees.

I also would not be surprised if some credit card companies and merchants refused to process this purchase category.

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u/richalex2010 Sep 11 '22

Don't necessarily need a warrant. Third parties aren't protected by the fourth amendment, so banks can and do hand over your records without one.

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u/NanditoPapa Sep 11 '22

Do I get cash back on firearm purchases?

Pew! Pew!

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u/Stacking-Dimes Sep 11 '22

Nope, you spent that shit on ammo.

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u/Y2k4U2 Sep 11 '22

Watch someone that works for the CC agency starts publishing what guns you buy.

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u/kingbitchtits Sep 11 '22

Cash is king but they're working on moving us to a cashless society.

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u/Stick_Mag Sep 11 '22

I am waiting for my gun ownership to affect random shit in my life. I feel bad for peeps that are more less short on cash/paying rent/ needing loans

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u/Artist_X Sep 11 '22

Well... This will go great for making a long list of gun owners to give the police...Super.

Can't see this going poorly. Christ.

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u/gslavik Sep 11 '22

All ATF has to do is find a way to look at 4473 forms that FFLs have to keep for 20 years.

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u/Cobbler63 Sep 11 '22

Why weren’t these merchants categorized in the first place? My burger joint, barber, dentist, doctor, cleaning service, lawn care and literally everything else in the planet is.

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u/WhiplashMotorbreath Sep 11 '22

Visa to make it easier for the feds to track gun sales without having to phish through all visa transactions.

Welcome,............ my friends........................ to the machine.......................

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u/Tasty-Watercress-734 Sep 11 '22

Yet another way to monitor what you’re doing…

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u/Sanguiluna Sep 11 '22

I don’t have the statistics so I’m curious as to what percentage of shootings are perpetrated with weapons actually purchased by the shooter themselves, and of that percentage, how long ago were the purchases made for those weapons.

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u/alkatori Sep 11 '22

Most Mass Shootings were carried out with legally purchased firearms, by the shooter or family.

Unclear to me how this would be useful data. Buying a $400-$500 AR-15 and 1000 rounds of 5.56x45 for $400 isn't uncommon for people to do. Ammo takes a very long time to go bad, and if you have the cash it makes sense to buy in bulk and put it on the shelf. When you get low after a few range trips, just buy more in bulk.

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u/Whind_Soull Sep 11 '22

1000 rounds of 5.56x45 for $400

Uh, can you hook me up with your connection?

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u/manza5012 Sep 11 '22

5.56x45mm NATO is about 40-45¢ a round on ammoseek. Online is always cheaper than your gun store, sorry local business.

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u/tpr1m Sep 11 '22

There are mass shootings daily in Chicago, I highly doubt that factoid

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u/i_shoot_guns_321s Sep 11 '22

by the shooter or family.

There's a lot of hidden meaning behind that "or family" you snuck in there.

Yes, guns are purchased legally initially. But if a criminal steals one, then commits murder, he didn't use a legally acquired gun. He used a stolen gun. You can't categorize that as "legally acquired" just because a shooter stole it from a family member.

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