Florida lawmakers announced legislation this week that would prohibit financial institutions from tracking firearm and ammo purchases in the state.
The proposed bill comes after the world's largest payment processors said last year that they will adopt the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for gun shop sales. Firearm and ammo purchases were previously categorized as "general merchandise."
State Sen. Danny Burgess and Rep. John Snyder, both Republicans, said they will introduce the "Florida Arms and Ammo Act" with the backing of Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson.
"The ‘Florida Arms and Ammo Act’ draws a line in the sand and tells multi-national progressive financial institutions, and their allies in Washington, that they cannot covertly create a backdoor firearm registry of Floridians – or else," Simpson said in a statement.
Gun control advocates have argued that the separate merchant code for firearm and ammo purchases could help curb gun violence.
"When you buy an airline ticket or pay for your groceries, your credit card company has a special code for those retailers. It’s just common sense that we have the same policies in place for gun and ammunition stores," New York City Democratic Mayor Eric Adams said last September when the new code was first announced.
A dozen Republican U.S. Senators sent a letter to the CEOs of Visa, Mastercard and American Express last year, arguing that the separate category is "the first step towards backdoor gun control on law abiding Americans."
"Any change that seeks to impact a United States citizen's ability to legally purchase a firearm belongs with Congress, not payment networks, international standard setting organizations, or the financial institutions that some of you serve," the senators wrote in the letter.