Merchant Category Code is Gun Control

By Larry Keane

Gun In A Shopping Cart iStock-498841228
Gun control groups are pulling back the curtain to reveal that their plan to add a firearm and ammunition-specific Merchant Category Code is all about tracking gun owners. IMG iStock-498841228

U.S.A. -( Gun control groups are pulling back the curtain to reveal that their plan to add a firearm and ammunition-specific Merchant Category Code (MCC) for gun retailers isn’t about tracking guns. It’s about tracking you.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times columnist who proposed this idea years ago, penned a column outlining the “next steps.” That revealed that the pressure campaign by federal lawmakers, state attorneys general, state lawmakers, and activist banks on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create a unique MCC for gun retailers was just the beginning. It was never about gathering data to aid law enforcement. It is, and always has been, a concerted effort to pressure credit card companies to deny lawful purchases of firearms and put every single gun purchaser on a watchlist.

Since the federal government is forbidden by law from creating and maintaining a searchable database of gun owners, this task is being outsourced to private industry.

An international body of unelected bureaucrats, not accountable to the American public, is setting the conditions that will allow credit card companies to track, categorize and report “suspicious” purchases to law enforcement. This is the definition of an Orwellian society.

How We Got Here

Sorkin proposed the idea of cutting off gun purchases by throttling the use of credit cards in 2018 when he published a column titled, How Banks Could Control Gun Sales If Washington Won’t.” NSSF warned them of the dangerousness of this proposal. Sorkin’s idea is that enough financial pressure could be applied to credit card giants to deny lawful gun sales. Swipe, insert chip or tap just simply wouldn’t work for those attempting to legally purchase a firearm or ammunition.

This idea was backed by gun control front-woman Shannon Watts. Antigun politicians like U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) who introduced legislation that would require the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) to give guidance to banks so they can report “suspicious financial activity.” The bill is fraught with civil liberty violations and not just those freedoms protected by the Second Amendment. Privacy rights – specifically those related to finances – would go by the wayside.

Amalgamated Bank, a “socially-responsible” bank, pressured the ISO for the specific MCC to categorize firearm retailers. That’s the same bank that refuses to do business to anyone in the gun industry but bankrolls the Democratic National Committee and Political Action Committees, including Biden-Harris Democrats, Ready for Hillary (which is Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC), Sen Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Warren Democrats and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) PAC, among others.

How It Works

The new MCC would apply to firearm retailers’ sales where the customer uses a credit card to pay. The code would allow credit card giants to monitor transactions at firearm retailers. In other words, someone buying new waders, boots, bibs, decoys, calls, bags, a shotgun, and ammunition would all be specifically coded in a total lump sum the credit card companies could examine. The credit card giants wouldn’t be able to peer into the shopping basket to see that the thousands of dollars someone might spend at the beginning of a hunting season would be mostly for gear, only a large purchase totaling thousands of dollars. That could raise a flag as a “suspicious” purchase. They could deny the transaction. They would report the transaction to law enforcement, and a law-abiding gun owner could be put on a watchlist, like the terrorist watchlist or the government’s “No Fly” list. They could expect a visit from law enforcement asking them about their purchase or attempted purchase.

How They Want It To Work

That’s just the beginning. Sorkin detailed plans to snap the door closed. Credit card giants need to do more than adopt the code; Sorkin said they need to enforce it. That would require credit card companies to force sporting goods stores like Academy to ring up guns and ammunition separately at the gun counter and utilize the gun store MCC. Sorkin also wants payment processors to develop software algorithms that would automatically flag “suspicious” purchases. Those looking for a definition of what would be “suspicious” should be wary that Amalgamated Bank is already working on this. Banks, if Sorkin has his way, would be the arbiters of approving or denying the purchase.

That’s putting unelected bureaucrats in control of Second Amendment freedoms. Antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is heralding the move they say would prevent “… an extremist building an arsenal.” It could also prevent law-abiding gun owners from purchasing a handgun to protect themselves. Giffords gun control group tweeted, “Next steps: We’ll work with @Visa, @Mastercard, & @AmericanExpress to ensure bad actors are not exploiting our nation’s financial system to carry out mass shootings and illicitly traffic firearms.” Since Giffords’ goal is to ban guns, “bad actors” would seem to include every lawful gun purchaser. Brady United, another gun control group, also glommed onto the “bad actors” descriptor, lumping all gun purchasers as potential criminals.

This assault on privacy and Second Amendment rights isn’t through. NSSF will work with Congress, state legislatures and attorneys general to battle back and protect the industry and those it serves. This new gun store MCC will not protect America from criminals but it does serve the demands of gun control zealots to chill and then kill lawful gun ownership in America.

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

National Shooting Sports Foundation

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Aren’t these the same credit card companies (bank issued cards) that had absolutely no problem at all turning over customer transactions to the feds related to the 6Jan.bullshit?


same ones….almost think running up a mountain and walk away set it all up to go away in bankruptsy 20million people screw them they go belly up..oh wait they did go broke congress gave them OUR money .. we need to get set up with a barter collective get out of their system…it is that or we will have to kill a bunch of them


Let’s not forget that the credit card companies are NOT private businesses, they are listed on the NY Stock Exchange. Share holders need to fight back!.
Better yet, the firearms industry should unite and form its own credit and shipping companies, and cut out the big players.


Kiss my ass I always pay cash , the commies can FO in no uncertain terms .


gold and silver too

Knute Knute

See how just the words; “gold” and “silver”, bring out the downvote trolls? Unless we choose to believe that the words they object to so strongly were; “and” and “too”. 🙂
Either way, I got rid of one of them anyway. Maybe we should switch to calling these forbidden words Ag and Au. I doubt the trolls have any knowledge of the elemental charts. That would require at least three functioning brain cells, and I’m guessing they fall short of that number. 🙂


Knute, over a period of almost 40 years I have purchased quite a lot of gold and one hell of a lot of silver, even some platinum, and still do. I sitting back to see if gold goes down much more and if it does, I would like at least another 20 ounces. I have a feeling that once President Trump is back in office precious metals prices will go through the roof. I don’t know why anyone would downvote swmft comment either,just upvoted it. Makes no sense.


Knute, I sure wish I had a lot more of gold,silver,and even platinum than I do. I watch the prices daily on Kitco and if they go down much more I’m really going to buy in again big time. Great investments..great for barter too if need be. I upvoted the comment too. Take care Knute.


You know what else is good for barter? Salt. Tobacco. Spices. Powder/projectiles, casings.. finished ammunition…, copper stock..lead stock, aluminum, iron …Drugs…class1 through 5…. Ethyl/Denatured/Isopropyl/Rubbing Alcohol… Cotton. Sugar. Tea. Coffee. Soap. Bleach. Ether. Rice. Beans. Tires. Women. Lumber. Clean water. Seeds. Toiletries.


Last edited 14 days ago by Boom

Add whiskey, whiskey, and more whiskey.


Makers Mark…

those will be for when you need something real bad…like CPU for your tractor

When you something minor, like a jug of canola oil… it’ll be Canadian Mist…

Knute Knute

Don’t forget the fractional ounces either. I like sovereigns. Just under a quarter OzT, and about the lowest premium around. Plus, its fun to collect all the different Kings and Queens on the obverse throughout the centuries. And if that’s too easy, they were made in most of the former British colonies too, including Australia and Canada.
I like the pre-65 constitutional coinage too. Just the right size for INdirect barter(also known as money), and also about the lowest in premium.

Knute Knute

“isn’t about tracking guns. It’s about tracking you.”
Exactly as stated in the letter sent from a hundred Congresscritters to the CEO of Mastercard:
The video contains links to the actual document in question, for those interested enough to read it for themselves.

uncle dudley

Under our system of government you have rights and freedoms, if for some reason you get arrested by law enforcement you are still innocent until proven guilty.
So it’s none of their damn business what you buy or how many you buy.
If the credit card companies don’t understand what their business is, then they shouldn’t be in business, it’s credit, not regulators.


uncle Dudley, if a person put airline tickets on their credit card to DC for the very legitimate and correct , STOP THE STEAL’ rally on 6Jan., they are almost guaranteed of being added to the FBI list of (potential) domestic terrorists. Most were probably visited by the FBI, some even arrested. Innocent until proven guilty ?

Last edited 17 days ago by Ope

Hell, if you pay for a set of four sparkplugs and it comes to $1776 you’ll be on their Sh#t list!


This is also preceding CBDC, programmable digital currency to replace the usd, where guns, oil, meat and whatever the left hates will be denied for purchase.

Use cash. Cancel credit cards. Why help them track and control you?


Ain’t Corporate Fascism great !

Wild Bill

Naaa, it is the Zionist global masonic Rothchilds.




It’s too bad your so far away…we could go shoot skeet… Hey, you know what? That would be awesome if that could be organized…the ammoland readers (habitual commenters) annual skeet shoot… THAT WOULD BE AWESOMEO! can you imagine? 05SEPT27, and you find yourself shooting the 5th Annual Ammoland Readers Skeet Shoot…! We’ll have tshirts and everything… Alas, I don’t guess we’d make it that far, before most of our homes were raided by the gestapos…and most of us–and our families– would be never be seen or head from again… And given the amount of people that I’ve told, “if I… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Boom

You know what, that would be an awesome idea. I would love nothing more than to show up and have a good time and meet JSNMGC, Wild Bill, OPE, DDS, Nringlee, Boom, Swmft and more. I would have a shirt with Musicman44mag on it. Everyone would know who I am and if they want to shoot me, so what. It would make great headlines that a group from Ammoland got together for a shooting day and someone from the left shot and killed someone from the right that is a constitutionalist so called socialist per JSNMGC and others was killed… Read more »


better a turkey shoot in dc


A driven hog hunt…why do you think my German Pointer is named Driver . ?haha


What they propose is completely legal. What I propose is completely legal as well. Make a conscious effort to shift your use of “plastic” off of your credit cards and on to debit cards. You’ll still have the convenience but skip some of the monthly fees, and you’ll start conditioning your financial habits for a switch to step 2. Start making any purchases that might get flagged as gun related using cash. The purchase might still be flagged, but it will be more difficult to track it back to you. If you buy so much as a pack of chewing… Read more »


Why the hell would you be shopping at all at Dick’s?


If you look at the context of what the Dentist said, I don’t think he/she is shopping at Dick’s. I believe it was more of an example.


Just make sure the debit card your using doesn’t have the Visa, MC, or Discover card logo in the bottom corner. If it does, its being tracked just like a credit card.


Make it easy on yourself & raise a giant middle finger to these elitist banks in the process: if you can’t pay cash for your 2A-related purchases, use a credit card for a cash advance, then make your purchase. Then simply pay back the cash advance as you would a credit purchase. Yes, cash advances usually have a higher interest rate but this is an easy way around this nonsense.


So, my natural counter-insurgent kicks in to gear and I put on the role of insurgent. How to defeat this system? Well, the next time I am at my local gun store I will by my wife a new T shirt, use the Visa. We will hit Cabelas and Bass Pro at our next trip to the big city so she will get a new flannel nightgown and some new winter hiking socks. My grand daughter the same. Flood the system. They will not be able to distinguish fifty bucks worth of hollow points from fifty bucks worth of flannel… Read more »


Unfortunately the sale is coded specifically for firearms and ammunition, not for merchants who happen to sell them. Your $50 in flannel will code as attire and be ignored. Your $50 in hollow points will code as firearms/ammunition and be logged, even if bought at the same retailer.


You ever spent any time in the 509th?
Or the 1-4 IN?

OPSEC doesn’t matter anymore, you can tell me …..

Last edited 15 days ago by Boom

Boom. Trying to translate what you said. Is that the 509th infantry in the Army? What is 1-4 IN. Infantry? I am USMC but I support all military branches. I was never one of these Oh well they are not 1st Marine Division crap. We are all and all is one in my books regardless of what branch you are in. If you are against my enemy, you are my friend.

USMC Semper Fidelis 1776 to 1996 and beyond.


Musicman44, do you remember, or have you ever seen the series, ‘Band of Brothers’…. Supposedly, it was supposed to be based off of the 509th, but in reality I think the 509th was the sister unit to the unit in the movie… Anyway, It was a unit that was formed much like other Army units at the time, and operationally; went from a beachhead all the way to the eagles nest… Berchtesgaden… After the war of the unit was sort of stood down.. but it wasn’t…, It was reorganized.. the 509th had such acts of heroism and had such a… Read more »


Wow, that was allot of information. Thanks for taking the time to type that all out. I had heard of the series but never watched it.


You should try to get the series and watch it…if you have the time. It starts in boot camp, and goes all the way through the course of the war, to the eagles nest.


nr – afaik know the transaction will show up as a purchase from a ‘sporting goods’ emporium with no specification – for now. You can bet that as the program evolves they WILL figure out a way to specifically identify what was actually purchased.


GomeznSA, I think just pay with cash or wire the money for online purchases. Just keep CC’s out of it completely.


Government won’t go No Knock Knockin’ to confiscate your firearms. You will willingly march down and turn them in for free….no “buy backs.” If you don’t comply, government will shut down your financial world… cards, checking/savings/money market accounts, investment accounts, social security, utilities…gas, water, electric (your gov mandated EV), phones…your whole world. More real WHYs behind the electric cars and cashless financial world…….control of We The Little Peeps for the good of the Elites.


Yeppers… But you can’t tell some people around here that… They think they’re going to win an all out slugfest, and they’re typing about it while they’re waiting in line for fuel, waiting for the fuel truck to show up… Or at a long line at the grocery store, or posting on their social media about how store shelves are empty… yeah, yet they also talk about how they’re going to win an unorganized campaign against any entity with M1 takes, A10 warthogs, jamming devices that cover entire zip codes, scanners that can pick up text, phone calls, and CB/FM/XM… Read more »

Last edited 15 days ago by Boom

LOL, I don’t think so. When it comes to the point to where they have corralled us and taken away enough from us to where our incomes and retirement’s are worthless. Then the change will come.


It will fail at its desired end. Many gun stores are already taking steps to counter by installing ATMs in their stores. People will also just simply visit their bank for a cash withdrawl before heading into the store. Cash is king. Likewise, online purchases can be made using prepaid credit/gift cards. Circumventing this nonsense is easy. We will just often be forced pay these tyrrants for it in the form of added fees.

Last edited 16 days ago by Trebor

Cash is indeed king – for now. Why do you think they are pushing so hard to abolish its use? Have you heard of ‘biden bucks? Oh and vendors being required to report ANY transaction of $600 or more to the eye are ess? Little by little, inch by inch they are ratcheting down on our individual liberties. Not really trying to be an alarmist but their end goal is total control.


I am trying to purchase property. They asked me where I would get the 40 thousand down. I told them it is in the safe. They told me that is mattress money and that it would have to be put into the bank.and I would have to justify the amount that it is not drug money. What bullshit. I saved it and I have proof. We shall see how it works out. I can justify the amount that I have and that should take care of it but is it really necessary? Someone who has an income of 1.5 million… Read more »


I bought my land cash ,


I think that is the way to go. I might do the same but I will have to save until next year. No problem. i am not going to let them instill in me the gotta have it now before someone else gets it. I can wait


you should have seen the sellers eyes lawyer starts talking bs, looked the guy in the eyes and said are you paying him to talk or make a legal sale……opened briefcase set the cash price I would pay on the table…counted it..all the paperwork was done in under an hour, I had done a title search…so good to go

Xaun Loc

YAWN Sorry, Jim, but don’t get your panties all twisted in a knot. The new MCC is 90% just another feel good way for the giant corporations to say “see, we did something” — the other 10% is marketing and is nothing new. As even this article admits, the MCC does not give the credit card companies or the banks any information about what you bought. It also doesn’t give them any new information about where you bought it. When you make a purchase using a credit card, the card processing company gets THREE pieces of information: Your card number,… Read more »


Some of us need new conspiracy theories because most of our old ones have proven true. 😉


Thank you for using paragraphs.

Patriot Jim

Use cash. Write a check. I just might have to get me a debit card as mentioned. This proposal would eventually put so many people, can you say tens of millions of people, on a “watch” list that you would like to think law enforcement would eventually say this is stupid.”


Jim – I suspect that most of us are already on “watch” (witch?) lists as it stands. Have you forgotten the potential terrorist list with around 70 specific indicators put out by ‘big sis’ a decade or so ago? If you ‘hit’ one of her marks you can bet that they have been keeping an eye on you all along. Most likely as long as you maintain a relatively low profile you won’t be bothered – for now.