Wyoming: Gun Owner Credit Card Data Privacy Bill Passed in the Senate

Gun Rights

Today, February 27thSenate File 105 was passed in the Senate with a vote of 31-0 and will proceed to the House. The bill would prohibit the use of merchant category codes to identify firearms, firearm accessories, and ammunition purchases. Please contact your representative and urge them to SUPPORT SF 105 by using the Take Action button below.

SF 105 provides critical privacy protections on financial data for those purchasing firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition by prohibiting the use of firearm/ammunition specific merchant category codes throughout the state. The bill will prevent government entities and private corporations from collecting sensitive financial information from gun owners in Wyoming. Additionally, SF 105 provides remedies in cases where a financial institution violates provisions of the bill.

In the Fall of 2022, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) approved a Merchant Category Code (MCC) for firearm retailers. MCCs are used by payment processors (like Visa and Mastercard) and other financial services companies to categorize transactions. MCCs enable payment processors and banks to identify, monitor, and collect data on certain types of transactions. Before the ISO decision, firearm retailers fell under the MCC for sporting goods stores or miscellaneous retail.

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Collecting firearm retailer financial transaction data amounts to surveillance and registration of law-abiding gun owners. Those promoting this scheme are in favor of firearm and gun owner registrations. Therefore, it should be assumed that the goal of this program is to share all collected firearm retailer MCC data with government authorities and potentially private third parties that may include gun control organizations and anti-gun researchers. To read more about the threat gun owners are facing surrounding their financial data and the use of merchant category codes, click here.

States like California have already mandated the use of these codes and it is important for Wyoming to pass legislation like SF 105 to protect the financial privacy of law-abiding gun owners.

Once again, please contact your representative and ask them to SUPPORT SF 105.

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