Banks, credit card companies to consider tracking gun sales

Posted at 5:49 PM, Apr 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-30 18:57:23-04

Some banks and credit card companies want to track gun sales. They already track our trips to grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations, but this preliminary plan goes much further.

The concept intertwines two very contentious topics: gun control and privacy issues.

However, in the wake of the Parkland massacre, even the private sector is taking a tough stance. 
The question is does this plan go too far? 

At Guns and Range Training Center in West Palm Beach, owner Alex Shkop told said he's had trouble working with credit card companies lately.

“We don’t know what it is, but definitely it’s becoming significantly less convenient to do credit card transactions,” said Shkop. 

He fears it could get worse if what the Wall Street Journal published Monday becomes a reality.

Just months after Parkland some credit card companies and banks are considering creating a new merchant code to identify gun purchases.

"I understand that they want to track and do statistics, it just makes us feel uneasy because usually, the point that we’re scared about is that they can use the statistics against us very easily,” Shkop.

For others, the concern is not gun rights it’s about privacy.

“For years they’ve tracked whether your purchasing at a restaurant or a hotel or in certain categories and now they’re talking about taking it a step further and looking at gun purchases,” said Alan Crowetz, WPTV's internet cybersecurity expert with Infostream.

He said the big question is where does it stop? “What degree of detail are they going to capture? Is this a further expansion of this? Is this the tip of the iceberg or is it just going to be this one item that they’re going to start tracking?”

Congress might have to get involved in this gun tracking plan to be legal.

We've reached out to Florida Senator Marco Rubio and Florida Senator Bill Nelson as well as Senate candidate Governor Rick Scott for their opinions. So far no one has responded.

Related: What to do in a credit card security breach.