Payment processor Visa has announced that gun shop sales would now be categorized separately in their card. Mastercard and American Express have made similar announcements about firearm purchases in the past.
Visa announced that it would be using the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for firearm shop sales. This new code was announced on Friday as gun store sales used to fall under the “general merchandise” code.
Visa said that in following the ISO’s decision they would make sure that their network continued to be by the rules set out.
This has been seen by many as a win for those advocating for greater gun control, as the categorization of suspicious quantities of firearms purchased would be tracked. These purchases can often be linked to mass shootings.
However, gun rights advocates and gun lobbyists have said that this categorization would be unfair as it is not often that firearm sales result in mass shootings.
Visa is the largest payment network currently. With all three major payment processors announcing the new categorizations it will now be up to banks to determine whether they will allow for the purchases of guns on their issued cards.
New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams has defended the choice of the new categorization saying that groceries and plane tickets have their codes, so it only makes sense for gun shops to have to follow the same policies.
Gun control advocates have maintained that this separate merchant code could help reduce gun violence. Only a week before the 2016 Pulse Nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, the gunman used his credit cards to purchase over $26,000 worth of guns and ammunition.