Jason Miyares Fauquier School board meeting Aug 16

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares and Cedar Run District School Board Chair Donna Grove discuss Fauquier's physical and mental health safety programs during a special session Aug. 16. 

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares joined a group of attorneys general in criticizing a handful of financial institutions for a new policy that would track and monitor firearm purchases.

At the center of the coalition’s ire is recent action taken by the International Organization for Standardization —  a worldwide federation of national standards bodies — that would create a merchant category code for gun stores to use when processing credit and debit card transactions.

The attorneys general outlined their concerns about the new policy in a letter dated Sept. 20 addressed to the CEOs of American Express, Mastercard and Visa. The letter was authored by Montana Attorney General Austin Knudsen and Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti and signed by 22 other attorneys general, including Miyares.

“When Virginians lawfully purchase firearms with credit cards, it should be no one’s business but their own,” said Miyares in a statement. “Big government and big business already collect and track enough of our private data. This new policy will do little more than put Virginians’ privacy at risk and discourage law-abiding citizens from exercising their constitutional right to purchase a firearm.”

While it’s unclear if any of the financial institutions have started using the new categorization, the attorneys general say it goes against the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment and public safety.

“The new code will not protect public safety. Categorizing the constitutionally protected right to purchase firearms unfairly singles out law-abiding merchants and consumers alike,” the letter reads.

Among the criticisms raised by the letter are concerns about “vague and misleading information” and possible misuse of the data collected.

“Creating and tracking this data only matters if your institutions are considering using that information to take further, harmful action — like infringing upon consumer privacy, inhibiting constitutionally protected purchases by selectively restricting the use of your payment systems, or otherwise withholding your financial services from targeted ‘disfavored’ merchants,” the letter reads.

Miyares and the other attorneys general also characterized the new policy as corporate overreach and a way to further the companies’ social values.

“The new code for gun stores is the result of transnational collusion between large corporations leveraging their market power to further their owners’ desired social outcomes,” the letter states. “Social policy should be debated and determined within our political institutions. Americans are tired of seeing corporate leverage used to advance political goals that cannot muster basic democratic support.”

The letter  threatens the companies with legal action if they decide to implement the new categorization, saying the attorneys general “will marshal the full scope of our lawful authority to protect our citizens and consumers from unlawful attempts to undermine their constitutional rights.”

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This story was first published by the Daily Montanan, a sister publication of the Virginia Mercury within the States Newsroom network. Mercury editor Sarah Vogelsong contributed reporting. 

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(38) comments

Mark Twain

Real simple. Don't do business with these companies and pay for guns in cash.

CarWash Bonzai

Isn't everything bought with a credit card already trackable? Gun purchases with credit cards were already trackable under sporting goods if I'm not mistaken. Any who, just use cash to purchase your firearms. SIMPLE solution.I would think ATF already tracks purchases when we fill out a form every time that has your info and the serial number, make and model of the firearm. Goes to show ATF is a JOKE and the vetting process needs REVAMPING.

Casey Avatar

More George Soros socialist fun invading your privacy and keeping American freedoms under their watchful eye.

John Dutko

Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is Capitalism!

Pay with cash if you don't want to be tracked. In fact don't use any modern technology if you are that paranoid. Because the companies got your money, your data, and all your info.

Larry Lyons

Soros - Reich Wing Nutter codewords for Jews. No doubt you think that the Protocols of the Elders of Zion is non fiction too.

Lynne June

Haha! Sorts is atheist/agnostic.

Lynne June

*Soros

John Dutko

https://www.ajc.org/translatehate/Soros

Cornelius Papadoupolos

Democrats really can't stand the United States constitution. It's a pain to have to follow the rules right? Silly things like the 2nd Amendment, supreme courts, balance of powers, etc. Don't like a law? "No problem...let's just do it anyway"! Now, just like 'woke Big Tech', we have 'woke Big Credit'! ...and they are going to flout the people's rights in the name of virtue signaling. I guess they need to shore up their ESG scores. Gotta love these leftists...they aren't going to stop until the country is a complete burning dumpster fire.

Change Craford

Is that why over 800+ Republicans have been arrested, charged and jailed for an attempted insurrection? You folks wear American pride clothing, yet you believe the "big lie" and know it is not true. You still support Trump who stole classified documents. I could go on and on.

Cornelius Papadoupolos

Please don't. We already had enough of Liz Cheney and the BIG SHEOW. As you can see by the boot print on her backside...most of America is done with all that nonsense.

Larry Lyons

“Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgement; and he betrays you instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.” –Edmund Burke, Speech to the Electors of Bristol, November 3, 1774.

Seems to me that Ms. Cheyney was following that philosophy rather than the one that your hero the Carrot Caligula follows - greed and grift.

Cornelius Papadoupolos

Well Mr. Lyons it doesn't matter anymore does it? She won't be voting for anything after the end of this year. Nationally come November we'll see who's representing who when all these circus clowns that were elected by morons like you are shown the door.

Lynne June

Trump is irrelevant.

Change Craford

Don't forget you folks and your fellow Republicans want to defund the FBI because they are doing their job well.

Cornelius Papadoupolos

The FBI has become the FSB of the Democratic party. This is obvious to everyone except the most extreme of leftists. All faith and respect gone from a once proud and prestigious law enforcement agency that was the example to the world of how NOT to be partisan.

Change Craford

It still is a great and reputable agency, but you deplorables get mad when they do their job and raided Mar-A-Largo. They had every reason and you know that he stole classified documents and lied about it. You know he is a pathological liar like yourself.

Lynne June

Yes, they could if not for the politicized Merrick Garland. Sad.

dave strut

As we all know republicans are excellent at following the rules and not obstructing.

Cornelius Papadoupolos

Republicans are swamp creatures just a much...don't get me started on that point. But you have to pick the party that isn't torching the republic. Looked at your grocery bill lately? Your utilities? Gasoline? 401K? Border? Easy choice.

John Dutko

Are you in favor of free market capitalism or regulations?

John Dutko

You yell at the sky for something that has been happening for 30 years. The horse left the barn.

Larry Lyons

Really? Which political party is advocating banning books and limiting free speech.

I'll give you a hint, they're not the Democrat.

Lynne June

Limiting free speech? Definitely Dems. Banning books for pre-K-12th grade? Definitely Repubs. 50/50

Lynne June

The far left and the far right are both problematic.

Change Craford

Republicans only care about guns and racism. They don't govern on anything else.

Paul Benedict

Only localities controlled by Democrats have serious problems with guns and racism. Republicans believe in freedom for all Americans regardless of race.

dave strut

I love debating Republicans because they don't fact check themselves, You are wrong about everything you just said. The TOP THREE Cities with the most gun violence are led by Republican governors.

With 64.54 murders per 100,000 residents, St. Louis had the highest murder rate for any major American city in 2019.

The murder rate in Baltimore is 58.27 per 100,000.

In 2019, the murder rate in Birmingham was 50.62 per 100,000.

ALL REPUBLICAN CONTROLLED.

Change Craford

Great info Dave! They just lie all of the time.

John Sebastian

What? All three of those cities have Democrat mayors lol.

Ocean Pines MD hasn't had a murder in over 20 years. "Republican controlled".

John Dutko

Ocean Pines MD is full of geriatric people.

Can't be a criminal when you're in hospice care.

John Sebastian

Oh, so it has less to do with the political party in charge of the locality and more to do with the types of people residing in it? Do go on.

Paul Benedict

Hey Dave. The localities are Democratic. Governors can't control cities.

Lynne June

What a clown. If you love to debate I’d hate to have you on my team because you are dead wrong.

John Dutko

The Green Book is still a thing in the South.

Lynne June

Deflect much?

John Dutko

Cool.

So why are Republicans pushing to get rid of provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act? Like the ones that protect minority communities and their ability to vote.

So much freedumb.

Larry Lyons

They don't govern. There fixed it for you.

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