How Banks Could Control Gun Sales if Washington Won’t

For the past year, chief executives have often talked about the fresh sense of moral responsibility that will corporations have to help their communities as well as confront social challenges even when Washington won’t.

within the aftermath of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that will killed 17 students as well as staff members — as well as at a time when Washington shows little interest in limiting the sales of assault weapons — there’s a real opportunity for the business community to fill the void as well as prove that will all that will talk about moral responsibility isn’t hollow.

Here’s an idea.

What if the finance industry — credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard as well as American Express; credit card processors like First Data; as well as banks like JPMorgan Chase as well as Wells Fargo — were to effectively set fresh rules for the sales of guns in America?

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Collectively, they have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker. as well as the item wouldn’t be hard for them to take a stand.

PayPal, Square, Stripe as well as Apple Pay announced years ago that will they could not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms.

“We do not believe permitting the sale of firearms on our platform can be consistent with our values or within the best interests of our customers,” a spokesman for Square told me.

The big financial firms don’t even have to go that will far.

For example, Visa, which published a 71-page paper in 2016 espousing its “corporate responsibility,” could easily change its terms of service to say that will the item won’t do business with retailers that will sell assault weapons, high-capacity magazines as well as bump stocks, which make semiautomatic rifles fire faster. (Even the National Rifle Association has said the item could support tighter restrictions on bump stocks.)

If Mastercard were to do the same, assault weapons could be eliminated via virtually every firearms store in America because otherwise the sellers could be cut off via the credit card system.

There can be precedent for credit card issuers to ban the purchase of completely legal products. Just that will month, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup as well as Bank of America banned the use of their cards to buy Bitcoin as well as additional cryptocurrencies.

To be clear: Those three banks won’t let you use your credit card to buy Bitcoin, yet they will happily let you use the item to buy an AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle — the same kind of gun used in mass shootings in Parkland; Newtown, Conn.; San Bernardino, Calif.; Las Vegas; as well as Sutherland Springs, Tex.

Visa, oddly enough, can be the card of choice of the N.R.A.: There can be actually an N.R.A.-branded Visa card issued by First Bankcard, a division of First National Bank of Omaha. as well as Mastercard proudly announced last year that will the item was the branded card for Cabela’s, an outdoor gear megastore that has a seemingly limitless assault-weapon catalog.

Visa spokesmen did not reply to several emails seeking comment. A spokesman for Mastercard sent a boilerplate statement that will expressed “disgust with recent events, including last week in Florida.”

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