Visa Inc to flag sales at US gun stores

Visa Inc, the largest payment processor in the world, will implement a new merchant category code for US arms dealers that will identify arms store transactions.

The International Organization for Standardization on Friday approved the creation of the Traders’ Code following pressure from gun control activists who say it will help track down suspicious arms purchases.

“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant class code, Visa will move forward with the next steps, while ensuring that all legal trade on the Visa network is protected in accordance with our long-standing rules,” he said. Visa in a press release.

Credit card processors use codes to identify sales by area, such as grocery stores, restaurants, and more. Gun shops were included in a broader retail category.

The code will indicate where an individual spends money, but not which items were purchased.

Several major US pension funds, including those for government employees in New York and California, had filed shareholder resolutions asking payment companies to comment on the matter.

Visa’s decision to adopt the new code will encourage other payment processors such as Mastercard In and American Express Co to follow suit.

Some arms rights activists fear the new code could lead to unauthorized surveillance.

The mass shootings this year, including at a Texas elementary school that killed 19 children and two teachers, added to the long-running American gun control debate.

President Joe Biden has asked Congress to pass a ban on assault weapons and $ 37 billion ($ 54 billion) for crime prevention programs, with $ 13 billion ($ 19 billion) to hire and train another 100,000 police officers over the next five years.

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