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Alabama lawmakers ban credit card companies from tracking firearm purchases

The Alabama House gave final passage to SB281, banning credit card companies from being able to track Alabama consumers’ firearm purchases. After passing the Senate in April, the new law now goes to Governor Kay Ivey for her consideration and signature.

Firearm purchases were previously allowed to have a specific designated four-digit merchant carrier code (MCC) for firearm purchases and gave gun owners significantly less privacy when it came to their purchasing history.

The bill was carried in the chamber by State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Mobile) and also bans credit card companies from collecting data on consumers who use debit or credit cards to buy firearms.

“The right to own firearms is enshrined in our nation’s Bill of Rights, and gun owners should be allowed to purchase a weapon without worrying about a private company tracking their actions and collecting data without their permission,” Stringer said. “The freedoms and liberties that too many among us take for granted are under constant threat today, and this legislation seeks to preserve the Second Amendment gun rights of all Alabamians.”

RELATED: Bill to protect the privacy of gun buyers passes Alabama Senate

Previously, gun purchases were their own category of MCC and were extremely easy for companies to track, but the specific category will become significantly more general under new law.

11 states across the nation (Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming) have all passed similar laws.

The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey and is also in a similar spot on governor’s desks in both Georgia and Tennessee. If passed, the Alabama attorney general may assess fines of $1,000 for each violation of its provisions.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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