Politics

Rutledge Discourages Banks and Credit Card Companies from Tracking Firearm Purchases

LITTLE ROCK— Attorney General Leslie Rutledge joined a coalition of 24 states in alerting the chief executive officers of multiple banks and major credit card companies that classifying firearm transactions into a newly created Merchant Category Code is potentially a violation of consumer protection law and antitrust law.

“Attempting to document when law-abiding Americans choose to exercise their Second Amendment right is a flagrant attack on consumer privacy,” said Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “This action by banks and credit card companies must stop immediately.”  

In the letter to the CEOs of American Express, Mastercard and Visa, the attorneys general argue that monitoring and tracking firearm purchases creates a “list of gun buyers” which would present great risk to law-abiding consumers if the list were obtained and misused by those who oppose the Second Amendment.

The creation of this new Merchant Category Code specifically for gun stores allows credit card companies and large banks to monitor spending habits of consumers who purchase guns by adding their name to a list. Activists pressured the International Organization for Standardization to adopt this policy in order to circumvent and undermine the American legislative process.

Joining Rutledge in signing the letter are attorneys general from: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

To read the full letter, click here.

About Attorney General Leslie Rutledge

Leslie Carol Rutledge is the 56th Attorney General of Arkansas. Elected on November 4, 2014, and sworn in on January 13, 2015, she is the first woman and first Republican in Arkansas history to be elected as Attorney General. She was resoundingly re-elected on November 6, 2018. Since taking office, she has significantly increased the number of arrests and convictions against online predators who exploit children and con artists who steal taxpayer money through Social Security Disability and Medicaid fraud. Further, she has held Rutledge Roundtable meetings and Mobile Office hours in every county of the State each year, and launched a Military and Veterans Initiative. She has led efforts to roll back government regulations that hurt job creators, fight the opioid epidemic, teach internet safety, combat domestic violence and make the office the top law firm for Arkansans. Rutledge serves on committees for Consumer Protection, Criminal Law and Veterans Affairs for the National Association of Attorneys General. She also served as the former Chairwoman of the Republican Attorneys General Association.

A native of Batesville, she is a graduate of the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and the University of Arkansas at Little Rock William H. Bowen School of Law. Rutledge clerked for the Arkansas Court of Appeals, was Deputy Counsel for former Governor Mike Huckabee, served as a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Lonoke County and was an Attorney at the Department of Human Services before serving as Counsel at the Republican National Committee. Rutledge and her husband, Boyce, have one daughter. The family has a home in Pulaski County and a farm in Crittenden County.

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