Tennessee: Governor Lee Signs Legislation Protecting Financial Privacy of Gun Owners

Gun Rights

Yesterday, Governor Bill Lee signed SB 2223/HB 2762, legislation that provides important financial privacy protections for gun owners when purchasing firearms, firearm parts, and ammunition. NRA would like to thank Governor Lee for signing this critical piece of legislation. NRA also thanks House Speaker Cameron Sexton, Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally, Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson (R-SD 27), who sponsored the Senate bill, and Representative Rusty Grills (R-HD 77), who sponsored the House bill. SB 2223/HB 2762 goes into effect July 1, 2024.

SB 2223/HB 2762 prohibits payment processors from using firearm/ammunition-specific merchant category codes. This is an important protection for gun owners, protecting private purchasing information from abuse by third parties. Anti-gun activists in states like California have already mandated the use of these codes, and it is important that Tennessee takes this critical step to protect financial privacy.

In Fall 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 these schemes, in turn, support this type of intrusion, and it should be presumed 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.

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