FEBRUARY 27, 2024

NSSF Hails Introduction of Rep. Elise Stefanik’s Protecting Privacy in Purchases Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, hails the introduction of the Protecting Privacy in Purchases Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.), which would ban the use of a firearm retailer-specific Merchant Category Code (MCC). The legislation would protect the Second Amendment privacy of firearm and ammunition purchasers from financial service and payment card providers compiling purchase history that has already proven to be exploited by the federal government for political purposes.

The U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) admitted to U.S. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) in a letter that it violated the Fourth Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens that protect against illegal search and seizure when it collected the credit card purchase history from banks and credit card companies of individuals who purchased firearms and ammunition in the days surrounding Jan. 6, 2020. Treasury’s FinCEN had no cause, and sought the information without a warrant, to place these law-abiding citizens on a government watchlist only because they exercised their Second Amendment rights to lawfully purchase firearms and ammunition.

“The Biden administration has already proven they cannot be trusted to respect the private firearm transactions of law-abiding citizens. Without a warrant, federal agencies collected financial information on private firearm and ammunition transactions to create an illegal government watchlist of gun owners,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel. “Representative Elise Stefanik’s legislation would rein in federal overreach to use the private financial transactions of law-abiding citizens against them for political means. No American should be concerned that the federal government is employing this scheme, concocted by gun control cheerleaders, that weaponizes an individual’s finances and their free exercise of Second Amendment rights to wrongly identify them as a criminal-in-waiting. NSSF thanks Representative Stefanik for her principled leadership to stand up for Constitutionally-protected rights and against special interests and big government lawmakers whose goal it is to monitor and deny lawful transactions, by law-abiding Americans.”

The need for a federal policy has become necessary since several states have enacted similar legislation to protect the privacy of firearm and ammunition purchasers, including Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and West Virginia. Several additional states are currently considering similar legislation. California enacted legislation last year requiring the use of a firearm retailer-specific MCC and Colorado is considering legislation that would do the same.

For more information contact:

Mark Oliva