Gun Purchases Made Through Credit Card Will Not Be Tracked in Wyoming After Senate Committee Passes Bill

Wyoming residents and gun retailers have taken a step toward protecting the privacy of their customers’ purchases by reducing the capacity of credit card companies to identify and flag sales of firearms,

On Tuesday, Senate File 105 was voted unanimously by the Senate Agriculture Committee. This measure forbids Wyoming financial institutions from designating codes to monitor the acquisition of weapons.

Legalizing the sale of firearms and ammunition would be made illegal under Senate Bill 105, which is being sponsored by Republican Dan Laursen of Powell. In order to provide a general idea of the goods for sale, financial firms generate the codes.

Citibank and other financial institutions have maintained that these identifiers do not identify individual products but rather serve as processing instructions.

In 2018, the parent business of CitiBank announced a policy that states it will not assist gun shops unless they forbid the sale of firearms to anyone under the age of 21 or who has not passed a background check. Additionally, they forbid the use of their credit cards for the purchase of bump stocks or high-capacity magazines.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s director of government relations and state affairs, Nephi Cole, stated that the codes pave the way for individuals whose actions involve purchasing goods for gun stores to be deemed as engaging in “suspicious activity,” which could lead to the eventual denial of access to various banking resources.

Following a successful amendment by Laursen and the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the measure now includes wording that the organization feels better defines and covers all entities who assign codes.

According to the measure, Wyoming law does not permit the identification of a guns entity.

When Laursen was asked by Lingle Republican Cheri Steinmetz how businesses would be informed about the code change, he was unable to provide an answer. During the Senate’s consideration of the bill, Laursen stated that he would want assistance with this particular aspect.

To prevent the continued use of firearm or ammunition merchant codes, the bill grants the Wyoming attorney general the authority to seek a court injunction if the matter is not resolved within 30 days.

While the measure does include language authorizing civil lawsuits, Jones suggested including criminal penalties for failing to maintain a registry and/or merchant category code. For the moment, Laursen has stated that he will not back that.

Privately owned firearms and any lists, records, or registries of their owners created or maintained through the use of a firearms code are expressly forbidden under the bill from being kept by any state governmental agency or employee of the state or other governmental entity.

This session, the House rejected two further legislation that sought to regulate the privacy of gun owners.