Alabama: Credit Card Data Privacy Bill Passes Committee

Gun Rights

On Wednesday, April 10thcompanion bills HB 389 and SB 281 passed out of their respective committees, without amendments. Representative Shane Stringer (R-102), an NRA Defender of Freedom Award recipient, is the lead sponsor in the House, and Senator Tim Melson (R-01) is leading the charge in the Senate. NRA thanks Committee Chairs Rep. Allen Treadway (R-51) and Sen. Shay Shelnutt (R-17) for ensuring these bills advanced out of committee.

HB 389 and SB 281 prohibit the use of firearm/ammunition specific merchant category codes by payment processors. This is an important protection for gun owners, protecting private purchasing information from abuse by third parties. For more information click here.

Banks are attempting to push an amendment that would remove their liability from the bill. No financial institution should be able to collect data from lawful firearms purchases for third party registries and tracking. Please contact your Representative and ask they support HB 389 WITHOUT amendment.

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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.

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.

Please stay tuned to the NRA-ILA website and your inbox for updates as this critical legislation progresses.

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