Another Credit Card Company To Begin Tracking Gun Sales In April – 57 Million Impacted By The Change
In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February 2018, many companies began to rethink their relationship with firearms. While some have decided to sever ties altogether, others have implemented new policies to attempt to prevent the sale of firearms to those deemed dangerous or unstable. One such company, First Data, a major global payments processor, has announced that they will begin tracking gun sales on behalf of the banks that they serve. This means that many customers who use credit or debit cards to purchase their firearms will now have their transactions tracked and analyzed in an effort to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining weapons.
The new policy will begin in April of 2018, and will affect an estimated 57 million individuals in the United States who hold accounts with banks that use First Data’s payment processing services. While banks have been able to track gun sales in the past, they have typically done so through manual processes or third-party vendors. First Data’s new program will be the first time that gun sales data will be collected and analyzed in real time through a payment processing company. The hope is that by tracking and analyzing gun sales, banks will be able to identify and prevent individuals who pose a risk of violence from purchasing firearms.
Unfortunately, this new policy will undoubtedly be controversial. Supporters of the Second Amendment will likely argue that tracking gun sales is a violation of their rights to bear arms. Additionally, some may argue that the policy could unfairly target law-abiding citizens who have no intention of using their firearms for violence. While these concerns are understandable, First Data has emphasized that their goal is not to infringe on rights or to prevent lawful gun purchases. Instead, they hope to use their technology to help identify potential threats before they can purchase weapons.
Despite these concerns, it’s important to note that First Data’s policy is not unique in the industry. In fact, several other payment processing companies have already implemented similar policies in response to recent mass shootings. For example, PayPal recently announced that it would no longer process payments for sales of firearms or certain firearm accessories. Stripe, another payment processing company, announced last year that it would no longer process payments for businesses that sell assault rifles or high-capacity magazines. These companies, along with others that have implemented similar policies, argue that they are taking steps to prevent potentially dangerous individuals from obtaining firearms without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Of course, the question remains as to whether these policies will actually make a difference in preventing gun violence. Critics argue that individuals who are determined to obtain a firearm will simply find alternative methods of purchasing them, such as using cash or finding sellers in private online forums. While this is certainly possible, it’s also important to note that many mass shooters have a history of mental illness or violent behavior that could be identified through the tracking of gun sales. By analyzing sales data, banks may be able to identify patterns or anomalies that could signal potential risks. Additionally, it’s possible that the act of monitoring gun sales could deter some individuals from attempting to obtain weapons.
Despite the potential benefits of tracking gun sales, there are also concerns about the security of the data being collected. First Data has stated that they will take steps to ensure that customer data is protected and that it will only be used for the purposes of preventing risky gun sales. However, as with any data collection effort, there is always a risk of a breach or misuse of the data. Critics argue that the potential risks of collecting this data outweigh the potential benefits, and that it could set a dangerous precedent for further surveillance of citizens’ activities.
Ultimately, the debate over the tracking of gun sales is likely to continue for many years. Supporters argue that it’s a necessary step to prevent violence and protect lives, while critics view it as an infringement on their rights and a potential breach of privacy. As with any controversial policy, it’s important to continue the discussion and weigh the potential benefits and risks in order to ensure that our society is safer and more just for all.