Visa Inc. announced on Saturday that it planned to begin categorizing sales at gun shops individually, a key victory for gun control supporters who say it will help better detect unusual rises in gun sales that could be a precursor to a mass massacre.
However, the decision by Visa, the world’s largest payment processor, will enrage gun rights supporters and lobbyists, who have claimed that categorizing gun transactions would unfairly stigmatize a business when the vast majority of sales do not result in mass murders.
It joins Mastercard and American Express in their intention to categorize gun shop sales.
Visa stated on Friday that it would accept the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code for firearms sales. Gun store sales were previously classified as “general merchandise” until Friday.
“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with the next steps,” the payment processor stated in a statement.
As the largest payment network, Visa’s adoption and Mastercard and Amex would likely pressure banks and card issuers to adopt the standard.
Visa works as a go-between for merchants and banks, and it is up to banks to determine whether to allow sales at gun stores to take place using their issued cards.