Discover To Make It Possible to Trace Purchases Made at Gun Shops

Discover Financial Services, a company that provides credit cards, stated to Reuters that it will let its system track buys at gun shops, beginning in April.

It is the first of its competitors to openly give a date for moving forward with the action plan, which is aimed at assisting authorities in the investigation of gun-related crimes.


The International Organization for Standardization (ISO), which makes decisions on the classification of merchant categories that are used by payment cards, okayed in September the launch of a committed code for gun retailers.

This prompted Discover to make its announcement shortly after the ISO’s decision. Discover Financial Services holds the distinction of being the first of its peers to make this announcement.

Financial institutions will be able to provide improved assistance to law enforcement officials conducting investigations into crimes involving gun violence in the United States, according to proponents of the move.

This includes gun control activists and politicians affiliated with the Democratic Party.

Even though the codes will not reveal the precise things that were purchased, a number of Republican legislators have come out in opposition to the idea, alleging it might breach the privacy of United States residents who legally acquire firearms.

Discover has stated that the new code will be included in the next policy and product update that it will send out to merchants and payment partners in April.

Discover emphasized in its statement that it will continue to defend and promote authorized purchases made through its network while also preserving the privacy of cardholders.


After the release of the news, a spokeswoman for Discover stated the company was following the example of other payment network providers who initially decided to enroll the new code in April.

The spokesperson for Discover chose not to state those competitors by name.

Delegates for Discover’s major competitors, Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc., and American Express Co., weren’t available for comment to Reuters on when they plan to introduce the new code.

The corporations said in the fall of last year that they would work toward implementing the code while protecting users’ privacy rights. However, many Americans have their doubts about this one.

A spokesman from the ISO office in Geneva stated that the newly created code, which has been given the name “5723 – Gun and ammo stores,” would be made available for use by financial institutions by the end of the month of February.

According to research conducted by Nilson Research, Discover was responsible for processing 2% of the $9.56 trillion that was spent using credit and debit cards in the United States in 2022.

Visa, the market leader, came in with a 61% share, while Mastercard came in second with 26%, and American Express was third with 11%.