United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- When Letitia James is celebrating, Second Amendment supporters need to check and see if our rights have become more threatened. Earlier this week, one of her celebratory press releases is a warning that financial deplatforming has become that much easier.
Just before the Labor Day weekend, James and California Attorney General Rob Bonta demanded that Visa, Mastercard, and Discover create a specific merchant category code for sales of guns and ammunition. A week later, she celebrated the International Standard Organization’s requirement for the new code.
This shouldn’t be a surprise. While New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen in conjunction with the Heller and Caetano decisions should block any government bans on firearms, it is powerless against private businesses who make ostensibly “business” decisions.
Given her past track record which includes targeting firearms manufacturers, companies that produced 80% receivers, and her election-interfering effort to dissolve the National Rifle Association, this news is presumptively bad news. It has now become easier to single out firearms purchases, and while James and Bonta are only demanding this specific category… how long will they just be demanding only the category?
The probable next step will be to demand separate categories for firearms and ammunition, so as to start telling whether people are buying guns, ammo, or both. Then they will demand to segregate out the modern multi-purpose semi-automatics into yet another category.
Once that is done, it becomes easy to demand they block the purchases. That demand will be backed up with the threat of civil litigation egged on by anti-Second Amendment extremists groups, whether the Brady Campaign, Giffords, or Everytown. The purpose of the litigation will be to drum up bad publicity and force a settlement that will force the companies to cut off purchases.
Then, of course, there is the fact that generating a lit of possible gun owners just got outsourced to the financial industry – where such data can be subpoenaed by a state AG who is channeling Lavrentiy Beria. Think that won’t happen? Do we need to go over the track record of Letitia James again?
The most dangerous part about this is that this decision is going to be much harder to address via grassroots action. The credit card companies are private businesses and have pretty much the same First Amendment rights we do. They can also run their business as they see fit, and in the cases of Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, we don’t exactly have competition we can turn to.
We’re not helpless, though. Those in states that respect the Second Amendment can urge their elected officials to promulgate regulations to mitigate the potential harm that the recent actions of the International Standard Organization. The other step is to work to defeat anti-Second Amendment extremists like Letitia James via the ballot box at the federal, state, and local levels.
About Harold Hutchison
Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.