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Bill would prevent banks from separately marking, denying firearm purchases

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(The Center Square) – Credit card companies and banks cannot require firearms retailers to be identified by a separate code nor can they deny a legal firearms purchase based on that code under a bill passed by the Tennessee Senate.

Senate Bill 2223 prevents banks and credit card companies from requiring those retailers to have a separate merchant category code to separate firearms purchases. The bill protects financial records of firearms purchases from being disclosed unless required by law.

“The potential for abuse of this information is clear. So clear that even Visa, the industry-leading payment processor, has paused implementation of this MCC code,” said Senate Majority Leader Jack Johnson, R-Franklin. “This legislation is good public policy to put a stop to this kind of behavior.”

The bill mirrors laws already passed in Florida, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana and Texas.

Companion House Bill 2762 has been sent to the House Calendar Committee before heading to the full House for approval. The law would take effect July 1 if passed and signed by Gov. Bill Lee.

Violations of the law would be investigated by the Tennessee Attorney General’s Office and could result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000.