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Factbox-A look at proposed US state laws to curb new gun dealer code

(Reuters) – Republican-backed bills that have entered lawmakers in several US states aim to use a planned trade code for credit card transactions at gun stores that aims to detect suspicious sales of firearms and ammunition.

Major credit and debit card companies have committed to using the “dealer category code” for gun sellers, a development welcomed by gun control advocates who call it an important new tool for investigating suspicious purchases. Critics have said the code could be used to improperly track legal purchases of guns and ammunition.

Here’s a look at bills in five states.


A bill introduced in Florida aims to prohibit banks and other companies in the payment settlement process from assigning the code “separately from general merchandise or sporting goods stores.” It is scheduled for a hearing Monday before the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee.


Under a bill introduced in Mississippi, a financial institution or its agent may not “require or assign the use of a payment code” to a firearms dealer, separate from general merchandise or sporting goods retailers. The bill passed the House of Representatives on February 9 and is pending in the Senate.

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Bills in these states have similar language, including that financial institutions must not refuse “legitimate charge card transactions” based on the assignment of a firearms code, and may not charge merchants higher transaction or interchange fees based on the codes. West Virginia’s bill passed the state House of Representatives on Feb. 3 and awaits further action in the Senate. Oklahoma’s bill was introduced on January 18. The Texas bill was introduced on February 24.

(Composed by Ross Kerber; editing by Will Dunham)

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