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Credit Card Gun-Purchase Tracking Starts in April

The first major provider of credit cards has acknowledged moving ahead with plans to track purchases at gun retailers, an initiative that gun-control activists hope will allow financial institutions to better assist authorities in investigating gun crimes, Reuters reports. Discover Financial Services will allow its network to start the gun-purchase tracking in April, seven months after the International Organization for Standardization, which decides on the classification of merchant categories used by payment cards, approved the launch of a dedicated code for gun retailers.

A Discover spokesperson said that other payment network companies had already decided to use the new code starting in April, and that Discover was following their lead. The Discover spokesperson declined to name those peers. Representatives for Discover's major peers — Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Co. — declined to comment to Reuters on what their schedules for introducing the new code are. While the codes will not show specific items purchased, some Republican politicians have spoken out against the move, arguing it could violate the privacy of U.S. citizens lawfully buying guns.


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