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Controversy Arises From California Law Regarding Gun Purchase Tracking

The major credit card networks in the United States could be creating a commercial code for the purchase of firearms and ammunition in California, which could generate controversy in other states where conservative lawmakers have worked to block such creation. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are moving forward with transaction codes, according to CBS News. These payment codes would allow credit card companies to comply with a California law that would enable banks to detect suspicious gun purchases and share that information with authorities. The law would take effect in 2025.

In the past, these companies had considered this measure but suspended work on the codes in March 2023 due to resistance from lawmakers in conservative states. Most recently, Republican state representatives in Wisconsin have introduced a bill that would prohibit specific payment codes for firearms. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express did not provide comments before the deadline. Discover, which was not mentioned in the CBS story, also did not provide comments.

The California law would likely require card networks to have different compliance policies in different states. While not unusual, this puts the companies in the midst of a political struggle during an election year, given the size of California and its ability to influence federal policy and laws in other states.

Payment systems will have to handle the differences, but this will increase the cost and complexity of operating their businesses, according to Eric Grover, principal at Intrepid Ventures. Grover predicts that liberal states like California and New York will increase surveillance and regulatory burden on firearm payments, while conservative states in favor of the Second Amendment will limit or prohibit such tracking.

Although California could influence policy elsewhere, especially on consumer protection issues, Stewart Watterson, a strategic advisor at Data Insights, points out that the state’s influence on sensitive issues like gun sales may not be enough for other states to follow suit. However, there is no doubt that California’s early actions in other areas have pushed states and federal agencies to strengthen privacy and financial regulations.

In conclusion, this controversy surrounding the tracking of gun purchases demonstrates the complexity of regulatory compliance faced by financial service providers. The influence of California and other states on financial policy and consumer protection will serve as benchmarks for future legislation.

FAQ:

1. Which major credit card networks could be creating a commercial code for the purchase of firearms and ammunition in California?
The major credit card networks that could be creating this code are Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

2. What would these transaction codes allow?
These payment codes would allow credit card companies to comply with a California law that would enable banks to detect suspicious gun purchases and share that information with authorities.

3. When would this California law take effect?
The law would take effect in 2025.

4. Why did these companies suspend work on the codes in March 2023?
These companies suspended work on the codes due to resistance from lawmakers in conservative states.

5. What bill have Republican state representatives in Wisconsin introduced?
Republican state representatives in Wisconsin have introduced a bill that would prohibit specific payment codes for firearms.

6. What implications could this California law have for credit card networks?
The California law would likely require card networks to have different compliance policies in different states, which would increase the cost and complexity of operating their businesses.

Key Term Definitions:

– Commercial code: In this context, it refers to a transaction code that would allow credit card companies to comply with the California law regarding the detection of suspicious gun purchases.

– Conservative lawmakers: Refers to lawmakers who belong to a conservative political stance, which generally favors more traditional and conservative policies.

Suggested Related Links:
– CBS News: CBS News’ main website, where more information about the news mentioned in the article can be found.