DC Attorney General Karl Racine said in a statement that he is leading a coalition of 11 attorneys general who support the recent decision by major payment processors to start using a specific code for transactions of firearms and ammunition purchases.
In early September, the world’s largest credit card companies, including American Express, Mastercard, and Visa, announced plans for a new policy which requies a new merchant category code for gun sales, drawing the ire of gun lobbyists.
The move is expected to help authorities identify suspicious gun sales in an effort to prevent mass shootings, as well as investigate gun-related crimes, and curb illegal weapons trafficking more effectively.
It comes after the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), an international standard development organization, said it was re-reclassifying gun and ammunition retailers with a new commerce code on September 9.
Such transactions were previously categorized as “general merchandise.”
Visa, Mastercard, and Amex adopted a new merchant category code for the sale of firearms and ammunition—a critical step toward improving public safety.
I’m proud to have helped lead a coalition of 11 AGs to express support for the move. Here’s why it’s so important:
— AG Karl A. Racine (@AGKarlRacine) September 30, 2022
“Keeping DC residents safe is my office’s top priority—that’s why we’re standing behind financial institutions that are helping law enforcement better combat gun violence and mass shootings,” Racine said in his statement on Friday, September 30.
“All of us—prosecutors, law enforcement, businesses, and community members—must work together to keep our families and neighbors safe. This recent move by Visa, Mastercard, and American Express is one such tool that could help prevent harmful acts of gun violence across the country,” he continued.
Racine, along with the co-leaders of the coalition, Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings and New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin, penned a letter to American Express, Mastercard, and Visa, to express their support, praising the change as a new tool “that local, state, and federal entities can use to thwart mass shooting events before they occur.”
The other members of the coalition are the attorneys general from California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New York, and Oregon.