General Assembly approves Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act

The House last week approved legislation to protect Tennessee gun owners from mass surveillance associated with firearm and ammunition purchases.

House Bill 2762, also known as the Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, will prohibit financial institutions from requiring the use of a specific merchant category code (MCC) for transactions at firearms retailers in Tennessee. This legislation seeks to prevent banks and credit card companies from conducting unauthorized surveillance on law-abiding Tennesseans making lawful purchases in gun stores.

“Law-abiding gun owners in Tennessee will not be subject to unnecessary surveillance based on their decision to exercise their Second Amendment right,” said bill sponsor State Rep. Rusty Grills, R-Newbern. “These codes present a clear and dangerous encroachment on legal purchases at gun stores. We won’t allow banks, businesses and credit card companies to slowly erode our constitutionally-protected freedoms in this state.”

The Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act also prohibits government entities from keeping a registry of privately-owned firearms or gun owners in Tennessee. Additionally, it would prevent legal purchases at firearm retailers from being denied based solely on the code.

Alleged violations of the law would be investigated by the Attorney General’s Office and could result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000 if necessary, according to the bill.

The International Organization for Standardization, which develops proprietary, industrial and commercial standards, approved a new MCC in September 2022 to specifically identify sales that occur at gun and ammunition stores.

Tennessee will join several other states in protecting residents against the use of an MCC for firearm retailers.

The legislation passed the Senate in March. It now heads to Gov. Bill Lee’s desk to be signed into law.

State Rep. Rusty Grills represents House District 77, which includes Dyer, Lake and part of Obion counties.

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