Drilling Holes in Proposed Credit Card Regulation of Gun Purchases

By Larry Keane

SIG 516 Receiver Logo
Shannon Watts wants to know what’s in your wallet. IMG Jim Grant

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Shannon Watts wants to know what’s in your wallet. Even more, she wants what’s in your wallet to decide what you can buy.

Michael Bloomberg’s frontwoman for his bought-and-paid-for gun control group Moms Demand Action is demanding credit card companies monitor and police cardholder purchases. Specifically, she wants credit card companies to ban purchases of precursor firearm parts. Watts derides them as so-called “ghost guns” and wants to ban their sale.  Her claim is that the ATF recovered 10,000 of these “ghost guns” last year, but those included firearms with obliterated serial numbers and older firearms not legally required to serialized.

Here’s the problem. It’s perfectly legal for anyone who can buy a gun to build their own at home. She’s stomping her foot and demanding that credit card companies do what tech companies are doing. She wants them to dictate law and to be the arbiters of what’s legal, of what’s allowed, and what rights law-abiding citizens can exercise.

Can I Buy a Law?

Watts proposes in a Business Insider op-ed that credit card companies deny purchases of precursor firearm parts. She points to a lawsuit that her partner gun control organization Everytown for Gun Safety brought against the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives to force them to regulate 80 percent unfinished receivers as firearms. She conveniently ignores that the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss in a related and coordinated lawsuit filed by Giffords and the California Attorney General. ATF will soon file for summary judgment in the Everytown case.  Among the several reasons the DOJ seeks to dismiss the case is the fact that a receiver blank is not a receiver under the law.

Once a firearm receiver crosses the so-called “80 percent” threshold for being finished, manufacturers are required by the law and ATF regulations to serialize the receiver because, under the law, it is a “firearm.” Everytown’s lawsuit wants to force ATF to define a “frame or receiver” and any part “that is designed, intended, or marketed to be used in an assembled, operable firearm.” Everytown’s definition would mean that a forging or billet, a solid un-machined block of metal with no holes drilled in it, that a manufacturer would purchase from a supplier, would itself be a “firearm” requiring the raw material supplier to have an ATF manufacturing license and mark and serialized the forging or billet with its name, location, and a serial number.

This, of course, is not what the Gun Control Act requires. As ATF explains in moving to dismiss the Giffords case, “Congress has defined “firearm” with specificity as, inter alia, “(A) any weapon . . . which will or is designed to or may readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” or “(B) the frame or receiver of any such weapon.” In doing so, Congress changed the prior definition to explicitly exclude “‘any part or parts’ of a firearm,” other than a receiver…. A receiver blank may not “readily be converted to expel a projectile by the action of an explosive,” is not “designed to . . . expel a projectile” in and of itself and is not itself a “receiver.” It is therefore not a “firearm” within the meaning of the statute.”

The ATF explains that a “receiver” is “[t]hat part of a firearm which provides housing for the hammer, bolt or breechblock, and firing mechanism, and which is usually threaded at its forward portion to receive the barrel” and how it determines when something is readily convertible.  A forging and so-called “80 percent receivers” are clearly not readily convertible to fire a projectile and so therefore not a frame or receiver of a firearm.

Scaremongering Bogeyman

Home-built firearms have always been legal. Even before the founding of our nation, Americans were building and assembling firearms in their homes for their private use. This is perfectly legal and is the practice predominantly of hobbyists. The overwhelming majority of firearms in the United States are bought through retail purchases, which are completed with a face-to-face transfer and completed FBI background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS). This happened 21 million times last year.

Watts ignores that those who can’t buy a gun at retail also are barred from building and possessing a home-built firearm. If a person is prohibited from buying a firearm at retail, they are also prohibited from possessing a home-built firearm. If a person builds their own firearm at home and sells those firearms to be “in the business” of making and selling a firearm, they must obtain a license from the ATF. Being “in the business” without a license is a felony.

Dirty Deeds

Watts attempts to make the case that there’s a precedent for credit card companies to take an active role with the abhorrent comparison of lawful firearm ownership with sex trafficking and pornography. Watts’ ham-fisted attempt to denigrate law-abiding citizens is as crude as her comparison. It shows that there is no brush too wide for her to use to tar the reputation of law-abiding citizens who choose to exercise their Second Amendment rights.

Watts also shows that there’s no idea she’s not willing to co-opt to achieve her gun control agenda. This isn’t the first time the idea of having credit card companies police Americans’ private purchases was floated. New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin pitched the idea in 2018. He attempted to publicly shame credit card companies for the horrific crimes committed by deranged individuals.

Spokespersons for both Visa and Mastercard rejected this idea then. They would be wise to do it again.

Michael Bloomberg, who writes the check for Watts’ Moms Demand, infamously admitted during a town hall even during his failed presidential bid that he had no problem being protected by guns. After all, he’s rich. But Bloomberg has never had an issue with telling others how to live their lives. Now, he’s got Watts selling his bad ideas of getting credit card companies to climb on board with his big brother gambit.

Watts might be playing from an outdated playbook, though. This year is different. More than 8.4 million people who never owned a gun before 2020 now have one in their possession. The likelihood of those people buying guns that cost hundreds to thousands of dollars in wads of cash is unlikely. They bought them with a credit card.

Guns are just today’s cause du jour. After big tech colluded to silence dissent online, it’s not a stretch to see when those bankrolling these cancel culture campaigns move on from gun control and deny the ability to buy a fossil-fuel-powered car or purchase red meat or any other grievance they become offended by. It took a judge to stop Bloomberg’s Big Gulp ban in New York City.


About The National Shooting Sports Foundation

NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearm retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations, and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Tionico
Tionico
3 months ago

quote: “requiring the raw material supplier to have an ATF manufacturing license and mark and serialized the forging or billet with its name, location, and a serial number.” HOkay fine then: mark those items in INK which can easily be washed away as the machining processes are accomplished. OR stamp them in an area that will be machined away as the solid block becomes a receiver. Net result, billet/blank is marked, finished receiver is not. OR, those wishing to start with a bilet, head off to an industrial aluminium supplier, pick out a “stick” (up to 20 foot long) of… Read more »

Get Out
Get Out
3 months ago

Check your cards cash advance limit on your credit card and then get cash to pay for your new guns. There’s always a workaround when they attempt to restrict your buying power.

Finnky
Finnky
3 months ago
Reply to  Get Out

@GetOut – Use cash online much? Sure you may be able to find your new firearm in stock locally and get to the shop during business hours – but I’m drawn to obscure surplus. Even if available locally it is often considerably more expensive. As for parts and ammo, I mostly purchase from convenience of my home with delivery to the door. Sure firearms provide a bit of additional security, however carrying large quantities of cash makes you a target and increases your risks. Dealing in cash generally makes retailers a bigger target for theft and bumps up their insurance… Read more »

Get Out
Get Out
3 months ago
Reply to  Finnky

I’m sure in due course you’d figure out after awhile how to make an alternate method of payment for how you do business. All you need to do is tailor your payment plan to fit your individual needs to counter the anti-gunners proposals to track or deny your next gun, ammo, parts or components you buy.
Think outside the box and consider using PayPal, Amazon Pay, Google Pay, or Apple Pay), bank transfers, electronic checks, and electronic bill payment.

JoeUSooner
JoeUSooner
3 months ago

“Moms Demand Action” was a very popular and financially-successful porn movie, back in the mid-1980s… a fact that I remind that organization’s members of, every chance I get. Their reaction – especially when I ask what role they played! – is priceless!! Try it, sometime… you’ll see them implode!

JNew
JNew
3 months ago

Citibank has already started this anti-American act. You would be wise to close any and all accounts with Citigroup.

https://youtu.be/oV9g4fzTUZ8

Cruiser
Cruiser
3 months ago
Reply to  JNew

Years ago these companies would have been convicted of “Loan Sharking” for the interest they are charging these days. Now they’re telling what you can spend your money on. Time to go to a cash only society.

Tionico
Tionico
3 months ago
Reply to  Cruiser

Credit union account with one that is part of the nationwide coop, means direct accessto your homewotn local account anywhere in the country, no fees. The ATM card can pull cash out of any netwirk ATM, or deposit as well, no fees. I can also access my entire account balance using the ATM card as a Visa/Mastercard. They are not contrlled by the major ripoff outfits like Chase, BofA ( I dumped those clowns twenty years ago) Wells Fargo (same thing with them), Citi, Each creditunion controls their own cards, so the chances of major leverege of this sort coming… Read more »

Vince
Vince
3 months ago

Moms Demand Action exhibits the majority of the 10 signs of a cult. So if if walks like a duck, quacks like a…..etc.

JSNMGC
JSNMGC
3 months ago
Reply to  Vince

MDA is a combination of whack jobs, unthinking emotional dingbats, and hard-core totalitarians (the ones in charge).

They screech about “gun safety,” but nowhere on there site do they list the four rules of firearm safety.

Jaque
Jaque
3 months ago

Dont these rats know that even a sane man can be driven to extreme reactions when pushed too often and when his rights are being denied. Events at the Capital last was the act by agent provocateurs and MAGA followers who joined the caravin into the Capital. But MAGA although tresspassing did not carry out terrorist acts as the Communists claim BUT. Steal a mans vote, deny him his freedoms and rights, call him names and threaten him because he supports gun rights and is an American Patriot and sooner or later he will join others treated the same way… Read more »

Tionico
Tionico
3 months ago
Reply to  Jaque

agent provocateurs and MAGA followers the first group yu name were Antifa, this has been proven. The second group were a mile and a half away listening to Donald Trump when the Capiol was “breached” by CapCops who politely and calmly moved some barricades aside, stepped back, and smilingly let calm and orderly folks in to THEIR Capitol building. Nearly ALL the incidents of violence, theft, breaking in to offices, harm to individuals were at the hands of Antifa infiltrators. AndTrump sis NOT “incite to riot” at all. That is an YUUUUGE lie floated by the Perjuror in Chief on… Read more »