Although the news flew mainly under the radar, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved a Merchant Category Code (MCC) specifically for firearm retailers on September 9, 2022. This may not seem like a big problem at first glance, but experts now suggest that this change was explicitly designed to monitor and track firearm purchases to build a gun owner registry.
Before this decision, firearm retailers were assigned a “sporting goods” or “miscellaneous” MMC. This change has been in the works for some time, as new MMC codes can be considered through an application process. Working with gun control advocates, Amalgamated Bank applied to the ISO’s Registration and Maintenance Management Group (RMMG) for this MMC to be official.
What is the Purpose of a Creating a Firearm Retailer MMC?
As the applicant, Amalgamated Bank has already stressed its goals with the MMC change. Most notably, the organization aims to create algorithm-based software that can track and report suspicious activities in connection with the MMC. Although they have stated this will help track illegal gun sales, they have not fully explained what would be deemed “suspicious activity.”
One significant problem arising from this MMC is that banks could block the transactions based on the defined code if desired. This would make it impossible for firearms to be purchased through a licensed retailer, even for eligible purchasers, if the bank chooses not to approve the transaction. This decision would set precedence for any purchases to be blocked based on their MMC coding in the future.
Currently, it is not believed that this MMC update will affect sales from online ammunition retailers like Green Country Ammo; however, the extent to which this proposal will be pushed remains to be seen. Our team will continue to provide discount ammo to our customers nationwide and keep them notified of any changes that may occur.
How Will This Affect Current and Future Gun Purchases?
Collecting financial information based solely on the purchase of a firearm should be considered surveillance. Many of the high-profile backers of the MMC, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass), Attorney General Rob Bonta (Calif), and Everytown for Gun Safety, have already praised these steps. However, it is clear that the primary goal of this change is to provide the government and private third-party organizations with information on all collected firearm data.
Currently, federal law has restrictions in place regarding the creation of a national firearms registry. It is believed that these steps are being taken to bypass these restrictions and use this data to deputize private companies. This is an important distinction since the federal government has been prohibited from taking these steps by law. NRA-ILA and other pro-gun organizations are working directly with congress to address this threat and blatant attempt to bypass federal law.