The state of Florida issued a warning in response to a plan by several large credit card companies, including Visa, Mastercard, and American Express, to implement a new identifying code system in order to track the sales of firearms and ammunition. If the plan is implemented, legislation will be passed to punish the companies for allegedly violating the second amendment’s protections.
Major credit card firms took action to develop “merchant codes” for firearms. The card firm stores your purchases, such as airline tickets, under a specific code so they can be found in their records. With merchant codes for firearms, this may both create a registry and provide the business the option to refuse a purchase, at their discretion.
As a result of the backlash, several Republican politicians, including Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen, have issued statements warning companies that if they attempt to track gun purchases, investigations will be launched.
However, Florida is taking it a step further.
On Wednesday, Jimmy Patronis issued a strong warning to these companies stating unequivocally that if the companies end up creating some sort of “corporate watch list” of gun owners, his office will take action to protect consumers.
Patronis said, “The second amendment is foundational to our American way of life. The idea that law-abiding Americans would be put on some kind of corporate watchlist is disturbing. Our rights come from our Creator, not the government, and especially not big corporations. It is clear that the actions by these credit card companies are part of a larger effort to curtail God-given constitutional rights of Americans. It is also symptomatic of the virus known as ESG, which is part of a global effort to socially re-engineer the country that we love so much. There is no way we are going to allow that to happen in the free state of Florida.”
“If we come to the legislative session and companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express are generating these reports to create a chilling effect against the purchase of firearms, then I’ll work with the Legislature to pass a law penalizing businesses who are targeting the right to bear arms,” Patronis added.
“We’ve seen a groundbreaking ruling come out of the Fifth Circuit limiting corporations’ ability to curtail American’s constitutional rights, so we are on solid legal footing to pursue a bill protecting Floridians 2nd Amendment Rights. We can also take it a step further by barring these companies from doing any business with the State of Florida. We will send a message out to these large corporations that if you are interested in doing business with Florida, you need to make sure that you’re protecting Floridians’ right to arm and defend themselves.”
The most straightforward explanation is that the gun control lobby is not being forthright about what these new laws will and will not do. This is a common anti-gunner strategy: declare that a particular policy is desperately needed, and then when it fails, claim that the reason for its failure is that it did not go far enough.
In this case, anti-gun groups are determined to deny consumers credit for all gun purchases, though I’m guessing they’d be willing to “settle” for banks and credit card companies scrutinizing the specifics of any business done at gun shops; a move that would result in a privately-run gun registry, at least for all purchases made with a credit card rather than cash.
In any case, this would essentially put leftist agenda items in front of customers, endangering their livelihoods and further disrupting rights.
That is why Republicans must apply pressure in the opposite direction and encourage these companies to focus on their own operations rather than doing the bidding of those seeking to eliminate our constitutional right to keep and bear arms.—And Florida is also not making empty threats. When Disney decided to intervene politically, Florida responded by removing it from its special tax status.
As states like Florida and Texas develop into financial centers in the United States, time will tell whether Florida’s threat will cause businesses to back off.
However, if credit card companies continue down this path and Florida follows through on its threat, this will be a huge blow to these corporations.