Visa to Categorize Gun Sales

Advertiser Disclosure

Last updated on January 2nd, 2024

The world’s largest payment networks are joining together to help tackle gun crime. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express plan to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops, a major win for gun control advocates.

Visa, Mastercard, & American Express to Classify Credit Card Gun Sales

Visa, the world’s largest payment network, unveiled plans to start separately categorizing sales at gun shops. The announcement follows the news of Mastercard and American Express, also stating an intent to classify gun shop sales.

As announced last Friday, Visa plans to adopt the International Organization for Standardization’s new merchant code (MCC) for gun sales. An MCC is a four-digit number used to classify a business by its type of goods or services. An MCC is a denomination that all merchants need to operate, whether they provide goods or services if they accept credit cards in exchange for their products. This code can denote anything from “Streaming Services” to “Drug Stores and Pharmacies,” “Fast Food Restaurants,” to “Sporting Goods Stores.” Before the announcement, gun store sales were considered “general merchandise.”

“Following ISO’s decision to establish a new merchant category code, Visa will proceed with next steps, while ensuring we protect all legal commerce on the Visa network in accordance with our long-standing rules,” Visa said in a statement.

The move to classify gun sales comes amidst increased pressure to tackle illicit gun sales. Gub control advocates have hailed the announcement, but gun rights advocates feel the move might unfairly target legal gun purchases. For example, a gun safe sale could be seen as a large purchase at a gun shop, potentially harming the customer’s ability to purchase a firearm.

“The (industry’s) decision to create a firearm-specific code is nothing more than a capitulation to anti-gun politicians and activists bent on eroding the rights of law-abiding Americans one transaction at a time,” said Lars Dalseide, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association.

Related Article: How to Calculate Cash Back

Featured image by Brett_Hondow/PixaBay

Editorial Disclosure – The opinions expressed on's reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author(s). These opinions do not reflect those of any card issuer or financial institution, and editorial content on our site has not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless noted otherwise. Further, lists credit card offers that are frequently updated with information believed to be accurate to the best of our team's knowledge. However, please review the information provided directly by the credit card issuer or related financial institution for full details.

About: Cory Santos
Cory Santos

Cory is the senior credit card editor at BestCards, specializing in everything credit card-related. He’s worked extensively with credit cards and other personal finance topics, including nearly five years at BestCards. Cory’s extensive knowledge is an essential part of the BestCards experience, helping readers to live their best financial lives with up-to-date insights and comprehensive coverage of all facets of the credit card space, including market trends, rewards guides, credit advice, and comprehensive credit card reviews.

Advertiser Disclosure

BestCards is an independent, Florida-based credit card comparison platform. Many of the card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which BestCards receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). BestCards does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace.