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2 Sep 2022

Ross Kerber, Reuters

NYC & California pension funds ask credit card companies to track suspicious gun purchases; incl. co. comments

"NYC, California Pensions Ask Credit Card Firms to Help Track Suspicious Gun Buys," 30 Aug. 2022

Top New York City and California pension officials want payments processors Visa Inc, Mastercard Inc and American Express to create a new tool to track suspicious gun purchases.

... Staff for New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, who oversees pension funds, said he has filed shareholder resolutions at Mastercard and American Express asking their boards to explain their views on whether to add a new "merchant category code" for firearms stores.

... In Aug. 29 [2022] letters to the three companies seen by Reuters, the pension officials wrote such codes would help financial firms meet obligations to report suspicious purchases, and noted the four-digit codes are already assigned to specialized businesses like bowling alleys.

... A Mastercard representative said it is reviewing the issue and that it aims to support "all legal purchases while protecting the privacy and decisions of individual cardholders."

Representatives for Visa and American Express did not immediately comment.