Watts Wants Credit Card Companies to Monitor Gun Parts Purchases?

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posted on January 20, 2021
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frankieleon courtesy Flickr

In her never-ending quest to strip Americans of their civil rights, the anti-Second Amendment founder of Mom’s Demand Action, Shannon Watts, has a new idea: have credit-card companies block their cards from being used to purchase gun parts.

In an opinion piece published by Business Insider, Watts decried so-called “ghost guns,” and insisted that anyone purchasing unfinished receiver and frame kits with credits cards were making “unlawful transactions.”

In fact, there is nothing unlawful about such purchases.

Watts, however, argued, “credit card companies can act on this … and refuse to play any part in these illegal transactions. … By refusing to process payments for illegal ghost gun kit sales, credit card companies can stand on the right side of history.”

Again, contrary to Watts’ claim, neither the transactions, nor the kits, are illegal.

Watts’ vision of “history” would have financial institutions use the services they provide to circumvent the legislative process and stop lawful purchases of lawful products by law-abiding American citizens; thus achieving a goal Watts has been unable to achieve through her normal anti-gun lobbying activities. .

Writing in response to Watts’ newest gun-control plan, Larry Keane, senior vice president for Government & Public Affairs and general counsel for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, said, “Home-built firearms have always been legal. Even before the founding of our nation, Americans were building and assembling firearms in their homes for their private use. This is perfectly legal and is the practice predominantly of hobbyists.

“Watts ignores that those who can’t buy a gun at retail also are barred from building and possessing a home-built firearm,” says Keane. “If a person is prohibited from buying a firearm at retail, they are also prohibited from possessing a home-built firearm. If a person builds their own firearm at home and sells those firearms to be ‘in the business’ of making and selling a firearm, they must obtain a license from the ATF. Being ‘in the business’ without a license is a felony.”

As Keane noted, this isn’t the first time the idea of credit-card companies blocking firearm and related purchases has been floated. In 2018, New York Times’ columnist Ross Sorkin made the rather fantastical argument that credit-card companies were at least partially responsible for the actions of mass shooters. Sorkin claimed that a Times investigation showed several mass murderers had made credit-card purchases of firearms and related items before they went on their murderous rampages.

Therefore, he argued, “credit cards have become a crucial part of the planning of these massacres,” making the credit-card companies “an instrumental, if unwitting, enabler of carnage.”

Using Sorkin’s “logic,” if a mass murderer or a local gang member illegally purchased a firearm from an illicit source using cash, would that make the U.S. Treasury “an instrumental, if unwitting, enabler of (the) carnage” that followed?

Of the millions of firearms purchased from retail establishments last year, no doubt many were purchased with the convenience of credit cards versus people carrying around hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in cash. Watts would like to force people to use only cash for lawful transactions as the latest step in her gun-ban crusade.

Nice try, Watts. But Americans don’t need this ridiculous restriction.

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