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Representative Jansen Owen’s Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act Has Cleared Key House Committee

With the deadline approaching for bills originating in either chamber of the Mississippi Legislature to make it out of their respective committees, a piece of legislation authored by Representative Jansen Owen (R-Poplarville) cleared the House Judiciary B Committee, a major step towards ensuring that the legislation becomes law.

House Bill 1110, entitled the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, passed the House Judiciary B Committee on Thursday, January 26, 2023. The bill aims to prevent credit card companies from being able to share information about lawful firearm and ammunition purchases, and to prevent discrimination by credit card companies against those who are lawfully purchasing firearms and ammunition.

Last fall, major credit card companies announced that they were going to begin using a special code for firearm retailers.

This announcement came only after 28 Democratic members of Congress, led by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, sent a public letter calling on major credit card companies to back the creation of a separate merchant category code for gun and ammunition retailers. The goal of the separate coding, Representative Owen says, is to create a backdoor attempt at gun control in violation of the Second Amendment.

“Regardless of the stated intentions, the ultimate goal of these new coding policies is mass surveillance of constitutionally protected gun and ammunition purchases and a creative way of implementing gun control measures,” Owen said. “If there’s probable cause of some sort of criminal activity, law enforcement can get a search warrant, signed by a neutral magistrate, as the Constitution requires, but we’re not going to let these companies be used and coopted as an arm of the federal government in its efforts to collect data on law-abiding citizens, discriminate against them, intimidate them, and infringe on the Second Amendment rights of our citizens.”

The act’s goal is to prevent disclosure of a customer’s financial information, such as purchasing firearms, and prevent companies from charging higher fees or declining transaction with a customer or merchant based on that code. As amended in committee, the legislation would provide these protections by preventing the credit card companies from being able to assign separate merchant category codes for firearm and ammunition purchases in the State of Mississippi.

“The Second Amendment is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution. No government or company should be allowed to suppress the lawful sale and purchase of firearms or ammunition,” Owen said. “I look forward to moving this bill quickly through the Mississippi Legislature and getting this bill to Governor Reeves for his signature.”

The bill will now head to the full House of Representatives. If passed, the bill we be transmitted to the Senate for consideration.



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