Visa, Mastercard, American Express Implementing Code to Track Gun Purchase Information in California

Visa credit cards are seen on Aug. 11, 2019, in New Orleans. Payment processor Visa Inc. s
AP Photo/Jenny Kane, File

Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are implementing a special merchant code to track gun and gun-related purchases in California.

CBS News reported that the new merchant code will be used to comply with a “California law that will allow banks to potentially track suspicious gun purchases and report them to law enforcement.”

This comes after major credit cards adopted then rescinded plans to use a new merchant code to track gun and gun-related purchases nationally.

On September 11, 2022, Breitbart News pointed out that Visa caved to pressure from gun control groups and New York Democrats, agreeing to flag gun and ammo purchases via a merchant code. The Associated Press observed that Mastercard and other major credit card companies also agreed to flag gun sales.

On March 2, 2023, Breitbart News noted that Discover was slated to begin tracking gun and ammunition purchases with the new merchant category code (MCC) in April 2023. This news created a feeling of momentum for the left, countered by a wave of pushback among conservatives.

On March 9, 2023, Breitbart News reported that Visa and Mastercard pivoted amidst the pushback and announced they would not begin tracking gun and ammunition purchases anytime soon.

But the major credit companies now plan to use a merchant code to track gun and gun-related sales to comply with a new law in California. The Washington Examiner noted that the California law goes into effect in 2025.

RELATED — AWR Hawkins: Universal Background Checks = Gun Registry


Rep. Richard Hudson (R-NC) commented on the plan to track gun purchases, saying, “Once again, credit card companies are attempting to track the information of lawful gun owners. This is yet another egregious ATTACK by the Far Left on Americans’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a pro-staffer for Pulsar Night Vision. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010 and holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at Reach him directly at


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