State Treasurer Riley Moore today announced the introduction of legislation he proposed to lawmakers prohibiting the use of credit and debit card transactions to surveil lawful gun and ammunition purchases in West Virginia.
House Bill 2004, The Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, would prohibit financial institutions from using credit card merchant category codes assigned to firearm and ammunition retailers to discriminate against West Virginians’ constitutionally guaranteed right to bear arms or enable government agencies to track lawful gun and ammunition purchases.
“Woke activists in Congress and their allies on Wall Street continue to find new ways to undermine our freedoms and way of life,” Treasurer Moore said. “The Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act will protect West Virginians from efforts to create a de facto national gun registry using credit and debit card records.”
Working with lawmakers, Treasurer Moore formally requested the introduction of this bill to protect West Virginians’ Second Amendment rights. House Bill 2004 was introduced in the House of Delegates today and is sponsored by Committee on Government Organization Chairman Chris Phillips, R-Barbour.
Last September, a panel of the International Organization for Standardization – a nongovernmental organization that develops a wide range of industrial and commercial standards – approved a petition by New York-based Amalgamated Bank for the creation of a new “merchant category code” (MCC) that singles out gun and ammunition retailers. Merchant category codes are used by credit card companies to identify the type of business in which a merchant is engaged.
Amalgamated Bank’s petition was supported by a wide range of gun control advocacy groups and liberal politicians, including U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and New York City Mayor Eric Adams.
Advocates for the switch are urging the nation’s major credit card companies to use the code to begin monitoring gun and ammunition purchases. If they flag gun or ammunition purchases, they could then notify law enforcement and share that data in order to investigate or make an arrest.
In addition to prohibiting credit card companies from discriminating against consumers and merchants engaged in firearms or ammunition purchases and banning disclosure of financial records to government agencies, the bill would also disqualify financial institutions that violate this act from competitive bidding of state contracts.
“West Virginians have a constitutionally protected right to bear arms and purchase guns and ammunition without being discriminated against by government or the financial services industry,” Treasurer Moore said. “I hope we can pass this bill to protect our citizens from this blatant end-run around their Second Amendment rights.”