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Georgia Governor Kemp Signs Law to Protect Financial Data of Gun Buyers

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Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp has signed into law HB 1018, the Second Amendment Privacy Act. This NSSF-supported law protects the privacy and sensitive financial information of people purchasing firearms and ammunition in the Peach State. With Georgia, there are now 14 states with laws that protect the Second Amendment financial privacy of their citizens.

The law prohibits financial institutions from requiring the use of a firearm code, also known as a Merchant Category Code (MCC), from being assigned to firearm and ammunition purchases at retail when using a credit card. The law also forbids discriminating against a firearm retailer as a result of the assigned or non-assignment of a firearm code and disclosing the protected financial information. Additionally, the law prohibits keeping or causing to be kept any list, record or registry of private firearm ownership.

“Governor Brian Kemp’s signature on the Second Amendment Privacy Act is yet another example of his firm commitment to protecting the Second Amendment rights of all Georgians. Citizens in Georgia won’t worry that ‘woke’ Wall Street banks, credit card companies and payment processors will collude with government entities to spy on their private finances to illegally place them on gun control watchlists,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel. “NSSF is grateful House Speaker Jon Burns, Lieutenant Governor Burt Jones, Representative Jason Ridley and state Senator Carden Summers for bringing this crucial legislation to become law. No American should fear being placed on a government watchlist simply for exercising their Constitutionally protected rights to keep and bear arms.”

Georgia joins a growing list of states that are standing against the invasion of financial privacy when exercising Second Amendment rights, including Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, Wyoming, Indiana, Utah, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and West Virginia.

NSSF worked closely with Georgia legislators to protect private and legal firearm and ammunition purchases from political exploitation. The Second Amendment Privacy Act is designed to protect the privacy of lawful and private firearm and ammunition purchases from being abused for political purposes by corporate financial service providers and unlawful government search and seizure of legal and private financial transactions.

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 idea of a firearm-retailer specific MCC was borne from anti-gun New York Times’ columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin and Amalgamated Bank, which has been called “The Left’s Private Banker” and bankrolls the Democratic National Committee and several anti-gun politicians. Amalgamated Bank lobbied the Swiss-based International Organization for Standardization (ISO) for the code’s creation. NSSF has called on Congress to investigate Amalgamated Bank’s role in manipulating the ISO standard setting process.

Sorkin admitted creating a firearm-retailer specific MCC would be a first step to creating a national firearm registry, which is forbidden by federal law.

Georgia joins a growing list of states that are standing against the invasion of financial privacy when exercising Second Amendment rights, including Tennessee, Iowa, Kentucky, Wyoming, Indiana, Utah, Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas and West Virginia. These states passed laws protecting citizens’ Second Amendment privacy. Other states are considering similar legislation. U.S. Sen. Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.) introduced S. 4075, the NSSF-supported Protecting Privacy in Purchases Act in the Senate. U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) introduced H.R. 7450, with the same title in the U.S. House of Representatives. California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law requiring the use of a firearm-retailer specific MCC and Colorado passed similar legislation that is awaiting Gov. Jared Polis’ consideration.

 

—Courtesy NSSF

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