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Ohio bill aimed at tracking gun, ammunition sales moves on

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(The Center Square) – A credit card rule that has been on hold for more than a year that would track gun and ammunition buys could legally be banned in Ohio.

Following passage in its originating chamber, Senate Bill 148 now heads to the House of Representatives. Bill sponsor Sen. Terry Johnson, R-McDermott, says the rule is an invasion of privacy and an attack on Second Amendment rights.

Johnson’s bill, which attacks a 2022 International Organization for Standardization rule that created a new four digit code to classify merchants by their business for those that sell guns and ammunition, easily passed the Republican-dominated Senate.

It has yet to have a hearing in the House.

“Our Second Amendment is under attack again by a leftist international organization that wants to stomp on your constitutional right to purchase firearms,” Johnson said. “Enough is enough. Senate Bill 148 preserves your fundamental Second Amendment rights and prevents your privacy from being invaded by big government and private corporations.”

The four major credit card companies put the rule on hold in March 2023, but Johnson believes the rule is a threat to the Second Amendment and the privacy of customers and businesses.

He believes it could be used to identify “suspicious purchases” of guns or ammunition, block those potential buys and tell the FBI of those types of purchases.

Johnson said politicians and credit card companies are facing pressure to adopt the code.

Johnson’s bill would:

Ban a financial institution from assigning a firearms code for retail purchases in a way that distinguishes between a firearms retailer and other retailers.Prohibit financial institutions from declining a payment card transaction involving a firearms dealer merely because the transaction is assigned a firearms code.Prohibit any governmental entity from keeping a list or registry of firearms or firearm owners.Allow the Ohio Attorney General to investigate alleged violations of these prohibitions and to bring civil action against violators.

Similar measures have come up at the federal level.

In late February, as previously reported by The Center Square, Republican U.S. Reps. Elise Stefanik of New York, Richard Hudson of North Carolina and Andy Barr of Kentucky proposed restricting use of a merchant category code to track transactions for firearms and ammunition sales.

A release from Hudson says the proposal would “preempt California’s newest attempt to single out and surveil law-abiding firearm and ammunition owners.”

News broke in mid-February that American Express, Visa and Mastercard would go forward and track gun store purchases in California.

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