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Credit card companies to begin marking gun sales for tracking

Credit card companies to begin marking gun sales for tracking

Credit card companies, such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express, will begin specially marking gun sales to make it easier to monitor buyers.

The change comes after the International Standards Organization made an announcement on September 9 that gun and ammunitions would be getting a special commerce code.

This is a new development that will make it harder for illegal purchases to fly under the radar of investigators. Additionally, it will make it easier to spot suspicious surges in sale.

Before now, gun and ammunition sales were classed as general merchandise, miscellaneous, or sporting goods sales. However, authorities found that this allowed weapons to be added to a gray area of recreations. Now, there will be a special four-digit code for gun and ammunition sales.

The news of the International Standards Organization’s statement received lots of positive reactions. Gun violence prevention group Guns Down America claimed that many of the weapons used in mass shooting events were purchased using electronic payments means. Thus, a special code would have alerted the right agencies of the purchase. Although, it is not clear what such agencies would have done to prevent the many tragedies from gun violence.

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Mashable explains that gun reform activists feel that an accurate record can improve monitoring of suspicious gun sales and help reduce overall gun crime.

“Credit card companies have rules to stop fraud and human trafficking. This common-sense decision means the same rules will apply to guns, making it easier to stop illegal firearms-related activity,” Igor Volsky, Founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America, had said.

In addition, Priscilla Sims Brown, CEO of Amalgamated Bank, which also worked on creating the special code for gun sales, further explained that the new system could stop guns from ending up on the streets or black market.

“We could identify and detect where there may be gun sales that are intended for black markets, where we see patterns of gun purchases being made in multiple gun shops. We could see the patterns of behavior that would indicate to us that there is something not right here,” she told CBS News in an interview.

Before now, the laws guiding gun sales have been riddled with so many loopholes, according to reform activists, who have levied several criticisms over the years.  Going forward, banking institutions are expected to also start using the new code as well.

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Onwuasoanya Obinna

A reader of books and stringer of words. Passionate about Science and Tech. When not writing or reading he is surfing the web and Tweeting.