NEW YORK — Payment processor Visa Inc. announced Saturday that it plans to start categorizing gun store sales separately, a major victory for advocates of tighter controls who believe the move will help better track suspected increases in gun sales. of firearms that could be a prelude to a massive shooting attack.
However, the decision by Visa, the world’s largest payment processor, is likely to anger gun rights advocates and industry lobbyists, who argue that categorizing such operations will unfairly segregate an industry when the Most of the sales that are made do not lead to massive attacks.
Visa said it will adopt the new International Organization for Standardization (ISO) commercial code for arms sales, which was announced on Friday. Until that day, gun sales in stores were considered “general merchandise.”
“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with consequent measures while ensuring our protection of all legal commerce on the VISA network in accordance with our long-standing standards,” said the processor. of payments in a statement.
Visa’s adoption is important as the world’s largest payments network and may help push Mastercard and American Express to do the same. Visa acts as an intermediary between the sellers and the banks, which will decide whether to carry out the sales in the gun stores with their issued cards.
Gun control advocates had made significant gains on this front in recent weeks. New York City authorities and pension funds had urged the ISO and the banks to also adopt the code.
American Express and Masctercard did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.
Two of the nation’s largest public pension funds, in California and New York, have required the nation’s major credit card firms to adopt specific marketing codes for firearms-related sales, to signal suspicious purchases or more easily track how many firearms and ammunition are being sold.
Merchandising category codes now exist for almost all types of purchases, including those made at grocery stores, clothing stores, coffee shops, and many other retailers.
“When you buy a plane ticket or pay for groceries, your credit card company has a special code for those retailers. It’s common sense that we have the same policies for gun and ammunition stores,” said New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a former police captain who blames gun proliferation for deadly violence in New York City. his city.