- State Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued a warning to credit card companies including Visa, MasterCard, and American Express who plan to use a new sales code to be able to flag and report irregular firearm purchases
- Through the sales code, Patronis claims a violation of second amendment rights, referring to its use as the implementation of a corporate watch list
- Patronis further threatened to bar such companies from conducting business in Florida in an attempt to “send a message to large corporations”
On Wednesday, Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis issued a statement claiming that he would work with Florida lawmakers to penalize credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard should they apply a new sales code to distinguish firearm purchases at U.S. gun stores.
The announcement follows claims in the media that Visa, MasterCard, and American Express will create a new merchant category code for gun sellers. According to gun control advocates, the new sales code provides banks and credit card firms with tools to identify irregular patterns of purchases, such as a potential mass shooter stockpiling weapons and ammunition, and report them to law enforcement.
Patronis, however, asserts that the new code’s use is a violation of second amendment rights, claiming on Twitter that the companies’ use of the tracking measure amounts to a corporate watch list.
Patronis went further to claim that the group of credit card companies is sympathetic to ESG standards, otherwise known as Environmental, Social, and Government regulations. These indicators are increasingly being used by investors to assess the social and environmental worth of the business or company they are interested in acquiring or investing in. Patronis last month spoke out against such metrics.
“If we come to the legislative session and companies like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are generating these reports to create a chilling effect against the purchase of firearms, then I’ll work with the Legislature to pass a law penalizing businesses who are targeting the right to bear arms,” said Patronis. “We’ve seen a groundbreaking ruling come out of the Fifth Circuit limiting corporations’ ability to curtail American’s constitutional rights, so we are on a solid legal footing to pursue a bill protecting Floridians 2nd Amendment Rights.”
It is also symptomatic of the virus known as ESG, which is part of a global effort to socially re-engineer the country that we love so much. There is no way we are going to allow that to happen in the free state of Florida. (2/3)
— Jimmy Patronis (@JimmyPatronis) September 21, 2022
Patronis additionally threatened to bar such companies from conducting business in Florida in an attempt to “send a message to large corporations.”
Patronis isn’t the only Florida cabinet member looking to bolster second amendment protection in the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis in April alluded to other issues that may come into play in future special sessions, including constitutional carry.
“You know, there are a few things we still need to deal with like property insurance, data privacy, and constitutional carry,” said DeSantis. “If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll cross that bridge.”
24 states currently have laws that permit constitutional carry, with Alabama, Ohio, Indiana, and Georgia having done so most recently this year. While each state has its law is written slightly variant of each other, the idea of constitutional carry is largely predicated on the idea of a state not prohibiting individuals who can legally possess a firearm from carrying handguns.