Attorney General Morrisey Urges Visa, Mastercard and American Express to Reconsider Plans to Categorize Gun Shop Sales

CHARLESTON — West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and American Express Inc. to reconsider their decision to apply a new merchant code to distinguish firearms purchases from other general merchandise sales.

The Attorney General sent letters to the companies’ CEOs.

“This decision appears to be a cave-in to pressures from radical gun control groups and those who are anti Second Amendment,” Attorney General Morrisey said in the letters. “Also, this decision is especially concerning in that it appears to surrender to activist shareholder pressure from certain pension funds. This is another example of unreasonable demands of the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) agenda.”

The Attorney General wrote that the decision made by these companies “displays hostility to your cardholders that choose to exercise their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, especially at time when violent crime is on the rise.”

Visa, Mastercard and American Express are among the world’s largest payment processors. The Attorney General said giving gun sales its own category puts an unnecessary red flag on otherwise legitimate purchases. Currently, gun store sales are under “general merchandise” as far as credit card purchases are concerned.

“We will continue to analyze this situation and, based on that analysis and your response, determine how best to proceed,” the Attorney General wrote in the letters. “This office is committed to ensuring that your company is prohibited from any practice that discriminates against or in any way penalizes any business subject to the new merchant code and any individuals impacted by your decision.”

Read copies of the letters at: