NSSF: Gun control reveals that ‘merchant code’ is a stepping stone to watchlists and bans

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By Larry Keane and our friends at NSSF

Gun control groups are pulling back the curtain to reveal that their plan to add a firearm and ammunition-specific Merchant Category Code (MCC) for gun retailers isn’t about tracking guns. It’s about tracking you.

Andrew Ross Sorkin, a New York Times columnist who proposed this idea years ago, penned a column outlining the “next steps.” That revealed that the pressure campaign by federal lawmakers, state attorneys general, state lawmakers and activist banks on the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to create a unique MCC for gun retailers was just the beginning.

It was never about gathering data to aide law enforcement. It is, and always has been, a concerted effort to pressure credit card companies to deny lawful purchases of firearms and put every single gun purchaser on a watchlist.

Since the federal government is forbidden by law from creating and maintaining a searchable database of gun owners, this task is being outsourced to private industry.

An international body of unelected bureaucrats, not accountable to the American public, is setting the conditions that will allow credit card companies to track, categorize and report “suspicious” purchases to law enforcement. This is the definition of an Orwellian society.

How We Got Here

Sorkin proposed the idea of cutting off gun purchases by throttling the use of credit cards in 2018, when he published a column titled, How Banks Could Control Gun Sales If Washington Won’t.”

NSSF warned then of the dangerousness of this proposal. Sorkin’s idea is that enough financial pressure could be applied to credit card giants to deny lawful gun sales.

Swipe, insert chip or tap just simply wouldn’t work for those attempting to legally purchase a firearm or ammunition.

This idea was backed by gun control front-woman Shannon Watts. Antigun politicians like U.S. Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and U.S. Rep. Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.) who introduced legislation that would require the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) to give guidance to banks so they can report “suspicious financial activity.”

The bill is fraught with civil liberty violations and not just those freedoms protected by the Second Amendment. Privacy rights – specifically those related to finances – would go by the wayside.

Amalgamated Bank, a “socially-responsible” bank, pressured the ISO for the specific MCC to categorize firearm retailers.

That’s the same bank that refuses to do business to anyone in the gun industry but bankrolls the Democratic National Committee and Political Action Committees including Biden-Harris Democrats, Ready for Hillary (which is Hillary Clinton’s Super PAC), Sen Elizabeth Warren’s (D-Mass.) Warren Democrats and U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) PAC, among others.

How It Works

The new MCC would apply to firearm retailers sales where the customer uses a credit card to pay. The code would allow credit card giants to monitor transactions at firearm retailers.

In other words, someone buying new waders, boots, bibs, decoys, calls, bags, a shotgun and ammunition would all be specifically coded in a total lump sum the credit card companies could examine.

The credit card giants wouldn’t be able to peer into the shopping basket to see that of the thousands of dollars someone might spend at the beginning of a hunting season would be mostly for gear, only a large purchase totaling thousands of dollars. That could raise a flag as a “suspicious” purchase.

They could deny the transaction. They would report the transaction to law enforcement and a law-abiding gun owner could be put on a watchlist, like the terrorist watchlist or the government’s “No Fly” list.

They could expect a visit from law enforcement asking them about their purchase, or attempted purchase.

How They Want It To Work

That’s just the beginning. Sorkin detailed plans to snap the door closed. Credit card giants need to do more than adopt the code, Sorkin said they need to enforce it.

That would require the credit card companies forcing sporting goods stores like Academy to ring up gun and ammunition separately at the gun counter and utilize the gun store MCC.

Sorkin also wants payment processors to develop software algorithms that would automatically flag “suspicious” purchases.

Those looking for a definition of what would be “suspicious” should be wary that Amalgamated Bank is already working on this. Banks, if Sorkin has his way, would be the arbiters of approving or denying the purchase.

That’s putting unelected bureaucrats in control of Second Amendment freedoms. Antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety is heralding the move they say would prevent “… an extremist building an arsenal.”

It could also prevent law-abiding gun owners from purchasing a handgun to protect themselves. Giffords gun control group tweeted, “Next steps: We’ll work with @Visa, @Mastercard, & @AmericanExpress to ensure bad actors are not exploiting our nation’s financial system to carry out mass shootings and illicitly traffic firearms.”

Since Giffords’ goal is to ban guns, “bad actors” would seem to include every lawful gun purchaser. Brady United, another gun control group, also glommed onto the “bad actors” descriptor, lumping all gun purchasers as potential criminals.

This assault on privacy and Second Amendment rights isn’t through. NSSF will work with Congress, state legislatures and attorneys general to battle back and protect the industry and those it serves.

This new gun store MCC will not protect America from criminals but it does serve the demands of gun control zealots to chill and then kill lawful gun ownership in America.

Reyes: We’re facing the collapse of law enforcement in America. It will lead to the end of our country as we know it.

Editor’s note:  In what has become something of an annual tradition (sadly), Law Enforcement Today writes about the challenges facing not only law enforcement, but our country in general.

These articles have proven to be among the most popular we post. When we started this series, we thought things were pretty bad. However, since January 20, 2021 – things have gotten much, much worse.

In 2020 during the run up to the November election, we tried to warn people what our country was up against, and what the Democrats had in mind. Sadly, but not surprisingly, we have found ourselves to be right.

Law Enforcement Today is written primarily for law enforcement officers and those who support law enforcement. However, our audience has expanded to include those who support our military, our Constitution and all the liberty and freedom it guarantees and are God-fearing patriotic Americans.

A lot of our readers ask how you can get involved. With that in mind, we invite you to prayerfully consider our membership program—LET Unity. The proceeds raised from that program are used to reinvest into capturing more stories about the heroes who protect us at home on our law enforcement agencies, and those who protect us abroad in the United States military.

The majority of our content producers for Law Enforcement Today are active, retired or wounded law enforcement officers.  The revenue we make helps provide for their families and helps bring a TRUE voice about what’s happening in America.

For the rest of you… simply keep following, keep reading, and keep sharing. Especially sharing…the more people who read these stories, the better it is for our law enforcement and military brethren.

I, [name], do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So, help me God.

On July 4, 1776, a group of patriots decided they had suffered enough at the hands of the British monarchy. On that date, at tremendous risk of their own personal safety and more so their very lives, they put quill to paper and signed the greatest document ever forged. A document that gave birth to the greatest country ever to grace the face of the earth—the United States of America.

Yet here we are, 245 years nearly to the day that document was signed, and we find our country at a crossroads. When you look at all the great dynasties in the history of the world, all of them eventually collapsed. The Roman Empire…the British Empire…they number many.

Mortality.

It’s something that you don’t really consider when you’re young.  You can do anything.  You’re invincible.

But as we grow older, we start considering that mortality.

With all of that in mind, it’s time we start considering the mortality of America.

I spend a substantial amount of time working in two different arenas – the world of law enforcement and the business world.

By day, I run a marketing agency. Among the areas we work in, we do extensive work in the firearms industry.  My travels take me across the country – often to some of the most rural parts of America.

By night, I am the National Spokesman for Law Enforcement Today.  I’m not a police officer.  I was tapped because I can do one thing cops can’t do.  I can give them a voice.  I can run my mouth and no agency can fire me.

That travel that I referenced – both in the business world and supporting the LE world – has afforded me countless opportunities to work side by side with some of the greatest patriots in America.

My closest friends are either in law enforcement or either active or retired members of some of the most elite military forces in America.  And from our greatest warriors to our everyday citizens… I can tell you the underlying fear that so many are thinking about – and that’s the seemingly inevitable collapse of society if we don’t make some monumental changes.

As a Christian, I believe we are in the middle of some serious spiritual warfare.  But you don’t have to be a Christian to understand that the very soul of America is under attack right now.  And the rapid erosion of the Thin Blue Line has us sitting on a powder keg.

Historically, if you look at the collapse of some of the greatest empires in the world, it happened from within.  Simply put, it raises the distinct danger that America won’t be conquered by foreign enemies … but rather from domestic ones.

President Ronald Reagan probably put it best when he said, “ Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected and handed on for them to do the same.” Prophetic words indeed.

When historians say that an empire fell, it means that the central state no longer exercised its broad power.  That happens either because the state itself ceased to exist or because the state’s power was reduced as parts of the empire became independent of its control.

It typically doesn’t happen because of a single cause, but rather a long process.  The main factors that historically lead to imperial collapse are:

  • Economic issues
  • Social and cultural issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Political issues

Now none of these factors are causes in and of themselves, but rather are ways to categorize causes.

What that means is you wouldn’t decide that Rome fell because of politics, but rather you’d explore political factors to understand the collapse.  And in those issues are warning signs for us as Americans.

That brings me to the threat we face today.

Have you ever heard of something called the Cloward-Piven strategy? It’s not exactly something the mainstream media talks about… but it’s something you need to be aware of, because it’s what we’re facing in America today.

American sociologists and political activists Richard Cloward and Frances Fox Piven created the political strategy in 1966.  The idea behind it is to overload the U.S. public welfare system to create a crisis that would lead to a replacement of the welfare system with a socialist system of “a guaranteed annual income and thus an end to poverty”.

If that doesn’t describe what we’re seeing from Democrats who are running Congress and the White House right now, I don’t know what does.  But it’s a much bigger threat than you might realize.  That’s because it’s so incredibly pervasive.  It’s poisoning the very roots of America.

And it calls to mind the words of Jefferson:

“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.”

We are seeing groups here in America demanding open borders.  Demanding the decriminalization of crossing into our country illegally. Since Joe Biden’s inauguration on January 20, we have seen our southern border over-run, not only from Mexican citizens but by people from all around the world, including some on terrorist watch lists.

Joe Biden assigned his vice president, Kamala Harris to oversee the border crisis, but in nearly three months since being given that assignment, Harris has not visited the border first-hand to see exactly what is going on—not once.

At the same time, across our great country, we are seeing the CRIMINALIZATION of law enforcement. All across the country, from Minneapolis to Portland, Los Angeles through Chicago to New York, there is a literal war on police. Major cities such as Seattle, Portland, Chicago and New York are seeing officers either retire early or outright leave. Morale in police departments across the country is in the toilet.

We’re seeing agencies desperate for officers, because as more and more retire (or count down the minutes to retirement), we see a deficit in the number of incoming recruits.  After all, why would you want to live a life of service when you’re just going to be attacked for that service?

In the aftermath of the George Floyd death in Minneapolis a year ago, we have seen primarily Democrats across the country demanding defunding of police, taking away protections such as qualified immunity from officers, and emasculating police to the point where even when they are completely justified in using deadly physical force, neo-Marxist groups such as Black Lives Matter and Antifa take to the streets to cause death and destruction.

One of the demands from activists was that police officers be required to be issued body cameras, which many jurisdictions have done. Yet, when police are put in the position of having to use deadly physical force, what is shown on the body cameras is not believed, called edited footage. It’s a classic heads I win, tails you lose for law enforcement officers.

We see political activists masquerading as police chiefs.  We see them working hand in hand with liberal politicians to not only attack the rights of law-abiding citizens, but also to destroy the morale of their own departments. We watch as they flat out disrespect the oath of office they took and put officers in no-win situations. Last year in the wake of the George Floyd death, we saw police chiefs kneeling on the ground with the very people who want them dead.

If I were to design a road map for how to collapse America, starting with law enforcement, here’s what it would look like.

Step one: Divide the protectors.

The refusal to allow rank and file patrol officers to cooperate with federal law enforcement to uphold the law.  It’s a slap in the face to Americans and it’s a dereliction of duty. It’s also a clear and intentional move to create a divide between local, state and federal law enforcement.  Divide the protectors… conquer a society.

Step two: Divide the supporters.

Force officers to choose between enforcing unconstitutional legislation like Red Flag laws, which deny citizens of their right to due process… and providing for their own family.

Since the beginning of  the coronavirus pandemic last year, we’ve seen draconian emergency orders put in place by power-hungry governors, with police officers being put in the position of having to be COVID cops or face discipline. We’ve seen videos of police officers arresting people at high school football games for not wearing a mask, breaking up groups of Hasidic Jews at a funeral in New York City and shutting down a gym in New Jersey for breaking COVID rules.

Make cops the bad guys.  Take the people who have historically supported law enforcement and convince them that cops are now the enemy.  Divide the supporters… conquer a society.

Step three: Remove their protection

Make cops afraid to be cops.  Encourage disrespect on them like water bucket attacks.  Don’t go after the criminals who attack them.  When officers arrest criminals, let them back out on the street within hours because a liberal judge determined that the violent suspect with a lengthy criminal history isn’t actually a threat.

In city after city across the country, we have seen George Soros-funded district attorneys such as George Gascon in Los Angeles, Kim Foxx in Chicago, Larry Krasner in Philadelphia and scores of others go light on criminals while going hard after police officers.

Then threaten law enforcement officers that if they do their job, they’ll be investigated.  That if they have to fight for their lives, they’ll end up being charged.  Remove both their desire and their ability to police.

Step four: Flood America  

By some estimates, one million people will make illegal entry into America this year.

There are fewer than 850,000 law enforcement officers in America.  Do the math.

Now let criminals create havoc in society but instead of deporting them or actually cracking down on crime, let Americans know that the real problem is guns owned by law abiding citizens and pass legislation to take away their rights.

Step five: Destroy our homes

Own the media.  Own Hollywood.  Force feed Anti-American, socialist and communist policies into our homes and our education system.  Convince our children that right is wrong and wrong is right.  Take God out of society, destroy the family structure and teach everyone that the solution to your problems is in the form of pills, porn and the government.

Step six: Destroy our schools

Keep children out of school for over a year for in-person learning. Feed kids anti-American propaganda such as the 1619 Project which teaches America was founded on racist principles by a bunch of white racist men. Erase history and replace it with critical race theory, which teaches white children to hate themselves and believe they have special privilege because of their race. Go completely against Dr. Martin Luther King’s edict that skin color is more important than the content of one’s character.

Step seven: Destroy our military and intelligence agencies

Turn our military and intelligence agencies into indoctrination mills where sexual preference or sexual identity is considered to be of primary importance while the more important mission of looking at what those who seek to destroy us are doing and making sure that the primary focus of the military is on killing people and breaking things, now the sexual identity of a soldier’s parents.

Step eight: Bypass Congress for gun control 

Have “private businesses” like Dicks and Walmart determine what you can and can’t buy. Let the White House determine by executive order what is and what is not an “assault rifle.”

Step nine: Lose control of the truth to tech tyrants and mainstream media

Allow Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google, YouTube, LinkedIn, TikTok, and Snapchat determine what you can see and what you can say… because it’s not a violation of the Constitution if it’s done by private enterprise. Allow social media to have unfettered ability to censor content that they do not politically agree with or people who have an opinion that goes against the politically desirable narrative.

Step ten: Use “social justice” to vilify love of country 

Take every patriotic American who wants to see a better country for their children and call them a racist, etc. if you don’t agree with them.  Then mass report them on social media to make sure their accounts are cancelled, and their voices are shut down.

Then say you think they’re a threat and have a judge determine that combat veterans and our nation’s greatest warriors need to be disarmed because of post-traumatic stress.  Then force officers to go to war with their own brothers and sisters.

Take people who had legitimate concerns about last November’s election and who raised serious questions about events which made no sense and put them in the category of conspiracy theorists or worse yet, insurrectionists hell-bent on the destruction of the American way of life, which is absurd.

The Collapse

It’s happening right in front of our eyes.  And it’s starting with a full onslaught against our law enforcement officers in every way, shape and form.

Want to save America?  We need to start by understanding the enemy.  And sometimes the biggest threat that an empire faces is the enemy within.

We hope you’ll consider getting in the fight with us.  Here’s what Law Enforcement Today – the largest police-owned media outlet in America – is doing.

We at Law Enforcement Today want to make our stance very clear.

We strongly and firmly stand behind the Second Amendment, companies that keep civilians and law enforcement officers safe through products and innovation, and the men and women who serve and protect our communities and our country.

We are launching a new series of options to help our partners and other patriotic businesses to be able to connect with consumers. While we can’t replace Google, Bing or Facebook – we sure can provide options to ensure that these companies and our brothers and sisters have a voice.

We welcome with open arms companies that openly support law enforcement, and we are proud to offer them options to get their products to market.

We started noticing the problems a couple of years ago.  Social media was scaling back the reach of content that it didn’t believe people should see. Those problems continue today, with both myself as well as the founder of Law Enforcement Today, Robert Greenberg being kicked off of LinkedIn.

Not that there was anything offensive about it.  We’re talking about pro-police videos, stories about patriotic Americans and more.

And from our perspective, that created a huge problem.  We have some of the greatest warriors in the world.  Yet their voices and their stories were being buried.

The mainstream media, on the rare occasion that it would tell some of these stories, would give you only a piece of them.  They’d cram as much as they could into a 90 second segment, slap their bias on it and that was it.

We needed to fix it. And so we are.

Law Enforcement Today (LET) is proud to announce the launch of LET Unity – a new home focused on bridging the gap between civilians and civil servants.  We’ve merged with The Whiskey Patriots to massively expand content, rolling out hundreds of videos to members.

Many of those in our focus groups dubbed it the “Netflix of the law enforcement community”.  But the truth is, it’s so much more.

The first officer in the door at the Pulse nightclub shooting.

Emergency responders from the Parkland shooting.

The bomb squad that responded to the Aurora movie theater massacre.

Survivors of the Dallas five killings.

The first Marine Guard hostage in the Iran crisis.

The CIA agent who started a counter human trafficking company.

SWAT teams.

Sniper schools.

World War II veterans.

And so, so much more.

The membership is less than the cost of two coffees a month, and those who sign up for an annual membership will get some surprise bonuses in the mail.  We decided to charge a nominal fee so we could take all of the proceeds and reinvest them into capturing more of these stories.  The majority of our content producers for Law Enforcement Today are active, retired or wounded law enforcement officers.  The revenue we make helps provide for their families and helps bring a TRUE voice about what’s happening in America.

On top of that, we’re opening up the platform to some well-known podcasters who are going to be joining the team with some incredible content soon.

We have a problem in society.  Censorship has created an existential threat to democracy.  But even worse is the risk we run that some of these incredible stories of patriotism, hope, faith and our Sheepdogs would be lost.

We’ve launched a series of content with Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.) to share the stories of survivors.  We will also be dropping a weekly law enforcement focused newscast that addresses some of the most important topics in the country… and helps bridge the gap between those who serve and those whom they serve.

On top of that, we’ll soon be rolling out a series of private discounts and special promotions to members only as a “thank you” for being a part of the family.

You can also download the app to watch the content right from your iPhone.

We hope you’ll join us in this journey, knowing that your membership is going to give a voice to those who have been silenced for so long.

Our country is currently at a crossroads, and with that, so are our brothers and sisters in law enforcement. Today more than ever, that thin blue line that protects the sheep from the wolves is more tenuous that at almost any time in our country’s history. We need to protect and endorse the sheepdogs—our police—who hold the wolves at bay. There has never been a more important time in our nation’s still young history when we need patriots to stand up and support our men and women on the front lines of this fight.

Click here to sign up. 

If you are one of the many companies out there that’s being censored – or you’re worried about what’s to come – don’t hesitate to reach out today. We are all in this fight together. I can be reached at [email protected]

We will not be silenced.  You shouldn’t be either.

God bless you all, and God Bless America.

Want to make sure you never miss a story from Law Enforcement Today?  With so much “stuff” happening in the world on social media, it’s easy for things to get lost.  

 

 





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