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New California law requires credit card payment networks to provide code for gun retailers

LOS ANGELES (CBS, KYMA/KECY) - A new California law requires credit card payment networks to provide a four-digit identifying code for gun and ammunition retailers.

Known as merchant category codes, the numbers already appear on credit card statements for most types of businesses. The codes help payment networks offer rewards and track spending trends.

Gun control activists hope it will flag suspicious purchases and deter mass shootings while gun-rights advocates fear the codes will lead to unnecessary tracking of gun owners.

"What we're advocating for with this code is closing one of those exemptions where the gun industry is not treated like every other business, even though it should be. Our hope and belief is that because of that oversight, we'll see a decline in active shooter situations, and we'll see the banking system closing its door to gun traffickers."

Hudson Muno, Executive Director, Guns Down America

"This is a normal, protected, lawful activity. And to carve it out as something that needs to be identified and data-mined for evil really sets a very bad tone for how gun ownership, lawful gun ownership, is viewed, while simultaneously adding zero predictive value in its stated purpose of detecting patterns that the mass shooters may engage in."

Dan Eldridge, Owner, Maxon Shooter’s Supplies

California is the first of three states, including Colorado and New York, to pass bills requiring tracking codes for gun stores. 17 states have now passed some sort of limits on category coes for gun retailers.

Article Topic Follows: California Politics

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