With just six weeks to go before the midterm elections, GOP officials are seizing on the collection of gun store sales data as an example of what they call “whack capitalism,” in which businesses should open a new front in the battle for this role. Driving social policy.

“Progressives are already cheering that this will be a huge step forward in monitoring suspicious gun purchases.” Roger Williams (R-Texas) said at a House hearing Wednesday. “Anyone who is against the rights of gun owners will. [financial] Entities flag each transaction with a gun. [code] to law enforcement agencies.”

State officials are also weighing in.


Environmental, social and governance — or ESG — policies are “weaponized in a way that’s very important to me,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Petronis. Republicans seeking re-election. Petronas threatened credit card companies earlier this week that GOP-led legislation would target their operations if it was determined the code had “a chilling effect” on firearms purchases.

“I see that as far as we need to take it. [Even] If we need to bring some of these companies to a financial institution doing business in the state of Florida because of their loss or irreparable loss,” he said in an interview.


Earlier this month, Amalgamated Bank—a union-owned institution that became one. Go to the bank for Democratic campaigns. – Successfully petitioned the international standards-setting body to adopt a new merchant code for gun shops. Credit card companies had resisted these efforts for years, but after signing on to the International Organization for Standardization, the companies said they had to comply.

Leaders of both parties have become increasingly aggressive in using their power—and their financial resources—to force corporations to adopt practices that are consistent with their respective ideologies. who often quarrel.


For every blue-state pension fund that moves forward with climate investment initiatives, Republican leaders in states like West Virginia will block public contracts with big banks that no longer finance coal.

Credit card companies and commercial banks are now caught in the middle of a similar dynamic for gun store purchases. Companies are not happy about this.


“We do not believe that private companies should act as moral arbiters,” Visa said in a company blog post Published in response to ISO decision. “A fundamental principle of Visa is to protect all legitimate commerce across our network and around the world, and to maintain the privacy of cardholders who choose to use Visa. This has always been our commitment, and this ISO will not be changed by the decision of

American Express and MasterCard have made similar points. Hundreds of other types of retailers, including florists and mobile home dealers, already have their own specific codes.

But the code only gives financial institutions insight into where purchases were made — not the items that were purchased. It will not prevent the legal purchase of firearms, nor will it serve as the sole reason for stopping any individual transaction.

The code will give financial institutions a new tool to identify suspicious transactions by consumers at gun stores because merchant categories appear on buyers’ credit card statements.

The CEOs of America’s biggest commercial banks, which ultimately handle those payments, echoed the credit card companies’ points at congressional hearings on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We can’t get involved in telling American citizens how their money is going to be used. That’s not our job,” JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon told the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday.

Republican policymakers claim the new regulation politicized the system for paying gun owners to suffer.

Two dozen Republican state attorneys general have already threatened card companies with legal action over the new code. GOP lawmakers on the House Financial Services and Senate Banking committees also sent letters this week to Amalgamated Bank, the Treasury Department and the Bank Policy Institute — a lobbying group for big lenders — to signal their displeasure.

Sen. Kevin Kramer (RN.D.) told the CEO of the bank during Thursday’s hearing. “I’m happy with the loud voice in your right ear.”

For Democrats and advocates lobbying for gun regulations, those protests ignore the epidemic of gun violence that kills tens of thousands of Americans annually. That’s why public pension leaders in New York City and California launched shareholder proposals earlier this year to force credit groups to support proposals to create a separate category for gun store transactions. could

“A merchant code for florists has been around for a long time, but I don’t see a Republican attorney general objecting. [to that]”New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, a Democrat who oversees the city’s pension system, said in an interview earlier this week. “I guess they don’t get a lot of support from the florists.

Having the code would create new ways for financial institutions to track suspicious activity — something they’re already required to do — and thwart domestic terrorism and mass shootings, said Nick Spillana, senior vice president for law and policy, said Every Town for Gun Safety, a group founded and funded by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Efforts to enforce the code came to a head when a series of New York Times reports revealed that the att*ckers were behind the att*cks. Virginia Tech and Pulse nightclub att*cksAmong others, used credit cards to amass large caches of guns and ammunition that led to these mass shootings.

“This is not just a question for policymakers and legislators to engage,” said Adam Skaggs, chief counsel and policy director at the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Business leaders have a role to play, just like everyone else.”

That thinking leaves federal and state policymakers ultimately accountable to voters, said Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skarmati.

“My concern is that if boardrooms get more involved in politics, politics is going to get more involved in boardrooms,” Skarmetti said. “We’re going in a direction where everything is becoming political — and that’s bad.”

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