Rep. Brian Babin, R-Texas, told Newsmax Friday that he is "absolutely opposed" to credit card companies, like Visa and Mastercard, using a special code to track gun sale transactions.
"I am absolutely opposed to Visa, Mastercard, American Express or anyone else tracking Americans gun purchases and ammunition purchases," Babin said during "The Chris Salcedo Show" Friday. "This stuff is so over the top and has got to stop; and I can tell you when we win back the House, there will be accountability. Every single one of our committees is going to be subpoenaing people who are in the know and finding out the truth about why and who is doing this."
In a Sept. 13 statement, Visa said that creating a "merchant category code" for gun and ammunition stores is not meant to "track gun sales as a potential tool in combating gun violence" but just to identify transactions from various retail subgroups like "bookstores and bakeries."
"We do not believe private companies should serve as moral arbiters. Asking private companies to decide what legal products or services can or cannot be bought and from what store sets a dangerous precedent," the company's statement said. "Further, it would be an invasion of consumers' privacy for banks and payment networks to know each of our most personal purchasing habits. Visa is firmly against this."
Second Amendment advocates, however, said the move, which also includes credit card companies Mastercard and American Express, is a "capitulation" to gun control activists trying to erode rights.
"The [industry's] decision to create a firearm specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time," Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association, told NPR Sept. 11.
Babin said the issue is not just something being practiced by credit card companies, but even the United States Postal Service is "digitally spying" on Americans that have questioned the 2020 presidential election or are pro-Second Amendment.
"We just found out today, on the front page of a local newspaper here in [Washington,] D.C., that the U.S. Postal Service has got this organization called the 'Internet Covert Operations Program,' where the postal service is digitally spying on people who questioned the 2020 election or who are pro-Second Amendment," he said. "The First Amendment of the Bill of Rights gives us the right to protest; and it is outrageous to hear that this is coming from our postal service, who cannot reliably deliver a letter on time, to have the funds and the personnel to be spying on American citizens about something like this."
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