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Indiana outlaws credit card companies using codes to track firearms purchases


firearms purchases


Indiana has joined a small group of states that have made it a crime for banks and credit card companies to track purchases of guns and ammunition through the use of a special code.


Earlier this month, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed House Bill 1084 into law. The legislation bars financial service companies from declining a transaction tied to a merchant category code designated for firearms products. Credit card companies use the codes to indicate the types of products and services being purchased by a cardholder.


State Rep. Jake Teshka, R-North Liberty, sponsored the measure. It comes roughly 18 months after the International Organization for Standardization’s Registration and Maintenance Management Group accepted a request made by a New York-based bank. Attorneys general from New York and California also supported the move, saying it would help track suspicious gun sales.


“Lawful Hoosier gun owners shouldn’t have to worry about their firearm purchases being tracked and stored in a database somewhere,” Teshka said last month after his bill passed the House. “Without the protections in this bill, these codes could allow gun-owning citizens’ privacy to be violated simply for exercising a constitutional right.”


Companies found to violate the law would be subject to fines of up to $10,000. While HB1084 takes effect on July 1, provisions related to credit and debit card payments will take effect in October and are limited to only purchases made within the state.


According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, Indiana joins Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah and West Virginia in passing such laws to bar companies from blocking or tracking such transactions.


Similar legislation has been discussed in Tennessee and Ohio among other states.


However, California lawmakers have passed a law requiring retailers to use the code to track purchases considered suspicious.


The industry group supported the measure, saying it violates the U.S. Constitution.


“Corporate banks and the federal government have already proven they will run roughshod over Second Amendment and privacy rights,” said Lawrence G. Jeane, the foundation’s senior vice president and general counsel. “The need to safeguard private and legal purchases of firearms and ammunition by law-abiding citizens has never been greater.”



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