By: José Niño

This month, Visa and Mastercard recently ended their plans to use a merchant code to keep tabs on gun purchases. According to a WAFB report, Visa and Mastercard’s change in policy is “a significant win for conservative groups and Second Amendment advocates who felt that tracking gun shop purchases would inadvertently discriminate against legal firearm purchases.”

While gun owners can breathe a temporary sigh of relief due to this development there are still looming threats on the horizon. Other credit card providers like Discover still plan on tracking gun and ammunition purchases starting in April, which is the first credit card company to provide an official date for going ahead with this plan. The plan is designed to help authorities investigate crimes involving guns. This represents a foot-in-the-door measure that will allow for future forms of private gun control to be implemented not just by Discover but other card companies.

Private gun control is a relatively new front that anti-gunners have opened in their war against the Second Amendment. Corporate gun control policies generally consist of business entitles breaking ties with gun vendors and gun organizations or even divesting from companies that manufacture firearms altogether.

There is a history of companies taking on the anti-gun mantle in the last five years. This started in the wake of the Parkland High School massacre of 2018, which witnessed a gunman kill 17 people in cold blood. Several companies such as Dick’s Sporting Goods and Citigroup took it upon themselves to carry out Gun Control Inc.’s anti-Second Amendment agenda. In 2018, Dick’s Sporting Goods enacted a policy to stop selling rifles such as the AR-15 and prohibited the sale of firearms to individuals below the age of 21.

On Citigroup’s part, it implemented restrictions on its customers’ ability to conduct firearms sales. In doing so at the time, it became the first Wall Street bank to take a public stance on gun control. Citigroup’s policies consisted of banning the sale of firearms to customers who haven’t passed background checks or who are below the age of 21. Plus, it banned bump stock and high-capacity magazine sales. Gun lobbies also felt the brunt of this corporate anti-gun push when rental car companies such as Avis and software companies like Symantec ended their affiliate programs with them after the Parkland shooting hysteria.

Gun Control Inc. recognizes that there are limits to its conventional governmental strategies used to implement gun control. Not all state legislatures are blue state trifectas that have anti-gun supermajorities. Nor is the Supreme Court anti-gun. In fact, its nominally conservative majority delivered the Bruen decision in the summer of 2022, which ruled that New York State’s “may-issue” carry restriction was unconstitutional and affirmed the right to carry firearms in public across the nation.

In sum, the gun control crowd is forced to adapt its strategy. It’s not only going to use governmental means; it’s going to also turn to the private sector to advance its agenda. Pro-gunners must immediately pick up on this trend and start crafting policies at the state level to shield the gun industry and gun owners from Corporate America’s anti-gun machinations.

When it comes to pushing for gun control, Gun Control Inc. is willing to use all the means within its disposal to do so. This requires constant surveillance by pro-gun activists to keep it in line.

José Niño is a freelance writer based in Austin, Texas. Contact him via Facebook, Twitter, or email him at [email protected]. Get his e-book, The 10 Myths of Gun Control, here.