Virginia Congresswoman Proposes Bill Empowering Credit Card Companies to Track, Report Gun Purchases

Jennifer Wexton believes her bill will circumvent the partisan divide on gun rights. (Photo: Jennifer Wexton Facebook)

A U.S. Congresswoman from Virginia is proposing a bill that would direct the federal government to identify the best way to track gun purchases using information obtained from credit card companies.

Rep. Jennifer Wexton claims her Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act will allow federal agents and financial institutions to flag suspicious activity that indicates impending domestic terrorist attacks.

“Banks, credit card companies, and retailers have unique insight into the behavior and purchasing patterns that can help identify and prevent mass shootings,” she said in a press release. “We know that financial intelligence can be an effective tool to combat gun violence in the same way it is for money laundering, human smuggling, and fentanyl trafficking. The red flags are there–someone just needs to be paying attention.”

The bill compels a branch of the Treasury Department called the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to obtain retail-level purchase information from credit card companies to figure out the best way to identify purchasers who might be planning an attack.

If FinCEN can collect enough data on gun purchases, the agency will issue an “advisory” informing financial institutions about the best ways to monitor and report those purchases. If FinCEN determines that the data collected is insufficient, they must submit a report to Congress detailing the process and identifying barriers to data collection. 

Second Amendment Foundation Founder Alan Gottlieb called the bill “disgusting” in an email to GunsAmerica.

“Allowing government to track private financial spending on our credit cards is the worst kind of invasion of privacy that I have ever seen proposed by an elected official,” he said. “She should be removed from office not only for violating our Second Amendment rights but for violating a host of our other rights and freedoms as well.”

SEE ALSO: ‘They’ve Awoken a Giant’: 20+ Virginia Counties Become 2A Sanctuaries Overnight

Supporters of the legislation believe Wexton’s bill can cross the divide between pro- and anti-gun camps.

“It seems like moderate middle ground that privacy and Second Amendment advocates should be able to meet in the middle on,” Joseph Moreno, a financial services lawyer, told the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “We’re not talking about banning any kind of purchases or a federal registry.”

But the bill fails to describe what kinds of patterns companies and agencies might look for or how to differentiate gun enthusiasts—who often purchase multiple firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition in a short period of time—from legitimate terrorist threats.

SEE ALSO: Here’s the List of Bills Anti-Gunners Plan to Enact in Virginia

It also doesn’t acknowledge the difficulty inherent in tracking gun and gun accessory purchases across thousands of companies and retailers nationwide. Accessories like body armor, night-vision goggles, optics, and powerful flashlights might be used for nefarious purposes, but they are also used by thousands of law-abiding gun owners.

The legislation is supported by Everytown for Gun Safety and co-sponsored by Democratic Reps. Don Beyer (Va.), Tony Cárdenas (Calif.), Sean Casten (Ill.), Gerry Connolly (Va.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Madeleine Dean (Pa.) and Alcee Hastings (Fla.), and by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

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About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at jordan@gunsamerica.com.

{ 83 comments… add one }
  • Dan May 8, 2020, 9:52 am

    What next what books we read? Oh I forgot Amazon already does that…..lol

  • Tom M January 8, 2020, 8:00 pm

    Those who seek control stop at nothing to get it and retain it, if they really want it that badly… Legally purchased firearms are not the problem in America – the illegally obtained firearms circulating in the hands of criminals and gangs are.

    This Ms. Congressman has drunk the Kool-Aid, and its laced with same hallucinogens that circulated in the 1960’s among the flower children. This needs to stop – harassing law-abiding citizens, and calling it “winning the fight against crime”… Personal rights are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America, and the only legal way to remove these rights is to convene a Constitutional Convention to amend it.

    Let’s stop pussy-footing around with these clowns – PROSECUTE them for illegally tampering with the Constitution. Trying to undermine its effectiveness (illegally) is TREASON – at the very least it’s SEDITION. Both of these verdicts carry life sentences for convictions.

    • Howard. Martin January 14, 2020, 3:41 am

      Those that violate the Constitution of the United States of America should be put to death by We The People. That is the people’s right.
      Death to tyrant And traitors.

      • Dan Colegate May 8, 2020, 9:55 am

        We need a “Star Chamber “. Not me I’m too scared to get caught

  • John January 8, 2020, 7:41 pm

    Like 200yrs to late, for one we all know you just want to know who owns what to take it away easier when the day comes(we both know what that’s about). And if you succeed in taking all those guns you sneakily trace then all those left will be breaking the law.Hence you politicians are trying to start a war to justify. Marshall law. The only good that will come of this is a lot of rich people today will become poor very quickly and those who stay rich will get richer,and we know the organization they belong to JFK tried to destroy them, they destroyed him. You will assist in the destruction of our great country.

  • Deezz Nutzz January 8, 2020, 2:20 pm

    Just goes to show you how ignorant some people are. All you do is go pay cash and there’s no transaction history on the credit card….. Jesus Christ these are the people are supposed be running our country and the ignorance that they spew is just asinine. And the ignorant people are the ones voting them in. Let’s put it this way, if the shit really hits the fan in this country the weak are going to die first and people keep showing their weakness and who’s going to die first.

  • Jim GREENE January 6, 2020, 12:58 pm

    Read the SECOND AMENDMENT

  • Don Wayne January 6, 2020, 7:18 am

    If it is a civil war they want, and by their own actions they seem to be pleading for one, then it should be known that whining about how bad it is going for the left will not stop it from reaching its conclusion! The elimination of the problem(s) that caused it to begin!

  • ArtZilla January 5, 2020, 1:48 pm

    Those other tracking operations have one thing in common…
    They track ILLEGAL activity!
    Buying a gun or ammo is not an illegal act and outside of some other proven illegal activity tracking it IS A FEDERAL CRIME!
    This is also called a backdoor registration scheme.
    These Left wing Communist idiots had better get it through their heads that Americans are NEVER going to sit by and be disarmed and watch this nation be Communnized.

  • Mary kilbride January 5, 2020, 3:06 am

    Are you insane???? Nobody I know wants this type of communist action to happen and I hope we have enough sane people who doNOT want our credit cards “tracked’…NO NO HECK NO!!!!!!!!!

  • Jimmy Hunt January 4, 2020, 5:43 am

    Dumb ass illegals dont use credit cards they use cash and/or drugs

    • Beverly James January 7, 2020, 5:45 pm

      That was my exact thought as well! We’ll all just pay with cash!

      They’re going to start a revolution if this persist! Our Constitution gives us the right to bear arms to protect us FROM the tyranny of our own government!

      Which has gotten out of control!!!

  • Mary Hawkins January 4, 2020, 1:39 am

    Duh, yeah that would work for all of us backwoods Virginia hillbillies too dumb to know how to buy a gun without using a credit card. It is more frightening to me knowing that we have people in our government with this type of idiotic thinking processes that would allow them to know if any of us might own a gun. First of all I have to wonder if tracking our credit card purchases is even legal, just to see if we may have purchased a gun or ammunition. Frankly what I buy with my credit card is my business and only my business. We have reasons like this one coming up every day by politicians that should make us aware of exactly who NOT to allow to stay in office. Vote them OUT!!!

    • Rick Duff January 4, 2020, 1:04 pm

      Bingo! We’re too STUPID to not see what they’re trying to do?!
      This is a genie that will not go back in the the bottle…….at least while we’re alive.
      Ghost guns, guns bought privately without recording serial transfer.
      Then there’s reloading……. The militias are growing! And there are plenty, who are waiting for leadership for a revolt, right or wrong, IT’S THERE!

  • Chester E Nisonger January 3, 2020, 9:37 pm

    Let me just stop by the ATM real quick before I head out to the gun store.

    • Cynthia Liley January 4, 2020, 3:30 pm

      You had the best comment of the entire section! Do they think gun owners really won’t figure this one out?

  • Bill January 3, 2020, 6:21 pm

    Gun owners of Virginia. Where are you? If your second amendment rights are being violated by people who work for you, vote them out or give them a timeline to get out of your State House!

    • Joel January 4, 2020, 11:23 am

      She’s in her first term and soundly defeated the Republican incumbent by a 12 point margin. The problem is, as with some other previously conservative states, that more and more liberals are moving in changing the electoral picture to more blue from red!

      • ArtZilla January 5, 2020, 2:00 pm

        This has been proven to be a lie!!!!
        Yes there are people moving from Blue states to RED states. But most of them are running away from liberal government!
        The Left is using this as a smokescreen for the tactics they use to subvert elections!

        • David S. McQueen January 7, 2020, 9:17 am

          That’s right. Why would a LIBERAL move? It’s more likely that a pro-second amendment person would move, not the anti-2nd amendment petson.

    • Gayle January 5, 2020, 1:32 pm

      So do not use credit card.
      I am still checking into this.
      On.my way to buy a gun!

  • Stephan Misrasi January 3, 2020, 4:56 pm

    VIRGINIAN’S REMEMBER THIS AT VOTING TIME. WE DON’T WANT THIS TO GET STARTED THERE AND SREAD THRU OUT THE USOFA

  • Gregory January 3, 2020, 4:19 pm

    O come on you all sound so pathetic about your lives. Do you really think that this type of behavior is new. Wake up they have been watching and listening us for a long Time. This is unbelievable how most of you pick your president by these cheep and sleezy news bits wake up we are in better shape than you think. And what the fyck Trump been in four years can any of you tell me what he has done for you personally. Yes I thought so

    • Ioke January 4, 2020, 12:18 am

      Gregery what the heck is up with you ? You can’t see anything good Trump has done yet ? Wow

      • Thomas W. Nave January 5, 2020, 12:09 am

        They will never win this over,they can try but will fall on their face literally.

    • Ioke January 4, 2020, 12:24 am

      Gregory you wake up .

    • Charles January 4, 2020, 1:57 am

      Yes He has made it so we have a voice and we are tired of your dictator style ambitions. This may or may not be our last stand but it is quickly becoming your last chance to let our freedoms be. We are fighting for all of our future as free families and people. Our right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We have defended this nation from foreign threats and will from domestic ones as well. By god this sleeping giant has been awoken and is not happy. Your right is to leave our rights alone and let us be free. If tou want to live in a socialist country go to one free people belong here and will fight for that freedom till the end of time.

    • malft January 8, 2020, 8:14 pm

      Trump has only been President for three years. I think I see your problem.

  • Bill McKay January 3, 2020, 11:50 am

    Behold…the enemy within.

  • Jay wood January 3, 2020, 11:47 am

    Ones like her just don’t get it. This does nothing to stop the flow of guns that are getting in the hands of felons. All they care about is going after the ones that follow the law.

  • gl January 3, 2020, 11:17 am

    Just Pay for it with cash , dumbass Politicians

  • JAMES BEAVERS January 2, 2020, 4:06 pm

    Could not have said better myself. This is not about preventing a mass murder, this is about identifying gun owners for later confiscation

  • Mark Henry December 9, 2019, 1:34 pm

    Beware of this until it is more exposed. This has all the earmarks of another round about way of disarming law abiding citizens by democratic socio-communists. They do not want “reasonable gun control”; what they really want is complete disarmament of the population in order to completely have total control of the legitimate power structure. Remember what the leader of the nationalist socialist party in Germany said: “In order to conquer a nation, first disarm its citizens”- Adolph Hitler, 1933.

  • Mark Alsburg December 8, 2019, 9:06 pm

    Remember this when it’s time to vote in the 2020 election!!

    DENORATS, LIBERALS, SOCIALISTS AND TERRORISTS POLITICIANS ARE THE RUINATION OF OUR GREAT COUNTRY FOR EVERY AMERICAN CITIZEN

    TRUMP2020 TRUMP2020 AMERICA SAVE IT OR IT OR NOT

  • Mr. Sparkles December 8, 2019, 8:02 am

    ” The bill compels a branch of the Treasury Department called the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to obtain retail-level purchase information from credit card companies…” to make future gun confiscation easier. PLAN AND SIMPLE.

    Either she is one special kind of stupid or she thinks the American public is. Maybe both.

  • Wesley December 7, 2019, 3:08 pm

    We need to realize that these politicians are the terrorists. They just don’t use bullets and bombs. They use tyranny!

  • Chris December 7, 2019, 12:07 pm

    I live in NYisstan so who buys guns with anything other than cash or a money order. If you do use a credit card (stupid) have the item sent to an FFL instead of yourself..duh !!!!

  • leadpoison December 7, 2019, 12:40 am

    Ubama’s Operation Choke Point redux– how creative. Jennifer Taxton should be prosecuted for plagiarizing that bill from the Ubama/Holder Regime.
    Cash is king (while it lasts). Stop using credit cards for guns & ammo purchases and punish both the statist rulers and the corrupt banks that support them. Save yourself the costs of using credit, paying interest, and hammering the seller with a 3.5% loss on every sale.

  • William December 6, 2019, 7:30 pm

    These nut cases are coming out of the woodwork!

  • Roger R December 6, 2019, 3:47 pm

    This is a wonderful bill. There also needs for a bill so we can track when women (her most of all) purchase products for their mensuration cycles. It’s common knowledge how SOME women become moody and angry during this time. So in keeping with really stupid bills we need to enact one to keep other people safe during “that time of the month”. (Come on it’s as stupid as her bill).

    • Bob Jones January 6, 2020, 9:42 am

      Owning a gun is not illegal but prostitution is! Women are born with all the tools required for prostitution except protection from disease and pregnancy. We need to track female purchases for birth control and condoms to see if they maybe committing the crime of prostitution.

  • Andrew December 6, 2019, 1:10 pm

    Why don’t they just tract all alcohol purchases as suspects for driving while intoxicated. How stupid can these legislators get. They just don’t care about individuals rights anymore.

    • Leonard December 6, 2019, 9:22 pm

      Maybe tracking the source of all deposits into the bank accounts of elected officials and members of their extended families would expose bribery and political corruption…

  • Boss December 6, 2019, 12:13 pm

    “It seems like moderate middle ground that privacy and Second Amendment advocates should be able to meet in the middle ” Joseph Moreno

    The middle means you just lost. Every time you meet in the middle your Rights disappear. Meet in the middle till there is no middle and your Rights are gone.

    • chinchy December 7, 2019, 12:45 am

      That’s right! Every damned half-measure is just another chipping away at our rights, and another baby step toward the ultimate objective. The ruling-class elitists also have no interest in solving any problem– knowing damned well that because nothing does get solved by these BS laws, they need to take it to the next level, then the next… until we’re pathetic, helpless subjects of the government and prey of criminals like the Brits or Aussies.

  • Keith C G Kyle December 6, 2019, 12:07 pm

    This does not pass the “smell factor” Step 2 “I’m from the government and here to take your firearms”

  • Michael Keim December 6, 2019, 11:53 am

    More big brother is watching and screw the Constitution.
    Every time one of these clowns proposes something that violates the Constitution, which they swore an oath to defend, they should be removed from office and tried for treason.

  • lawrence J noggles December 6, 2019, 11:52 am

    Terrorist do not use credit cards. They don’t want to be tracked.

  • Paul Lech December 6, 2019, 11:44 am

    Sounds like the USSR not the USA

  • John Boutwell December 6, 2019, 10:39 am

    The 2 Amendment was designed to prohibit or resolve this type of government/ laws!

  • ArmedCitizenX December 6, 2019, 10:30 am

    Another surveillance Bill. Does the Forth amendment still exists? They did such a bang up job with FISA. Dishonest people don’t purchase weapons with trackable means. They use cash.

    • BluNos December 6, 2019, 12:37 pm

      BINGO! Folks we have a winner.

  • Dexter Winslett December 6, 2019, 9:43 am

    Hang her by her treasonous neck.

    • Gourdhead December 6, 2019, 11:21 am

      On national television!

  • Angel Duran December 6, 2019, 9:40 am

    BIG BROTHER is keep[ng an eye on you……

  • GRA December 6, 2019, 9:33 am

    This is an unconstitutional violation of privacy and it violates the 4th. amendment. Tracking drug dealers of outlawed controlled substances is different than tracking non-criminal civilians whom are purchasing and using lawfully owned items while exercising a right protected by the US Constitution.

    • Spike December 7, 2019, 8:37 am

      You said it:

      $th Amendment

      The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  • Overwatch December 6, 2019, 9:20 am

    How did someone so stupid get voted into a position of a Congresswoman. If this is an example of your deductive reasoning, you must have received your PHD in Moronville. No wonder our Country is in such shape. This is a prime example of our tax dollars being wasted. If some of the idiots we have in Washington would get their head out of their rear end and get a breath of fresh air they would realize that guns have never been the problem. People are the problem. Until you fix that problem, you’re spitting in the wind.

    • e December 6, 2019, 2:17 pm

      Bloomberg and other communists worked hard to make Virginia socialist. I think they also flooded Virginia with illegals and others who will easily comply to their masters, big government. Promise handouts and “free” things and you’ll easily have sheepil and useful idiots by the 1000s. That and constantly scare people into believing that only socialist/communist government can save you from your misery and the scary society you live in.

    • PB- dave December 6, 2019, 8:57 pm

      How do you fix that problem ? OH golly gee… lets track every financial transaction a legislator, their family, their staff, and their financial handler make during and for 5 years after they leave office.
      Guessing that bill would never see the floor for a vote.

  • srsquidizen December 6, 2019, 8:36 am

    Ridiculous. FBI already has the means to know if a suspected terrorist tries to buy from a legit FFL gun shop (the only place guns can be bought using a credit card). Like other criminals, terrorists don’t use credit cards to buy weapons anyway because the indelible evidence trail it leaves is a gift to prosecutors if they get caught. So this is just a ruse to gather more information on law-abiding citizens who make gun purchases, and eventually move the bar of “terrorist” to mean anyone who doesn’t agree with her political views and stands up for their 2A rights. Like San Francisco already has done by declaring the NRA a “terrorist” organization.

  • Stach Brian December 6, 2019, 8:29 am

    If they want to track firearms sales, let’s add Wine, alcohol, cigars, pate, narcotic drugs, and add all members of Government to the tracking list for every single item…Orwellian Jack asses

  • rsmalt December 6, 2019, 8:22 am

    It’s official. Every politician affiliated with this state is a retard.

    Fortunately, I don’t see this piece of garbage legislation even making it to the floor of the Senate for a vote.

  • mikeb December 6, 2019, 8:19 am

    Stupid people come in many forms, but easily identified with a (D) after their name.

  • deanbob December 6, 2019, 8:13 am

    If gun control advocates really cared about human life, they’d move to restrict the murder of human life via abortion. But, as usual, leftists are hypocrites.

  • Robert Frasconi December 6, 2019, 7:20 am
  • Al Doyle December 6, 2019, 7:17 am

    Wexton is an Orwellian control freak from the pit of hell.

  • Robert Frasconi December 6, 2019, 7:01 am

    Violative of the Fourth Amendment.

    Expel this tyranny wearing pearls and her co-sponsors from the U.S. Congress.

  • Charles Dobbins December 6, 2019, 6:55 am

    “in the same way it is for money laundering, human smuggling, and fentanyl trafficking”
    Yeah, and we know how well that is working!

  • Douglas Pope December 6, 2019, 6:55 am

    What a wonderful idea ? That idea is already being used by several different Federal agencies , A.T.F. , F.B.I. , D.E.A. , to stop an illegal activity that has caused more deaths and destruction than all the gun crimes ever committed. How has that worked out for drug control ? All forms of law enforcement are trying to deal with an illegal activity with zero success .
    If these so called legislatiors would perform the jobs they were elected to do , with the laws that are already in place , instead of trying to remove my rights they very well could succeed ?

  • Blasted Cap December 6, 2019, 6:48 am

    That’s why cash is still king. Every once in a while I’ll buy with a check, but usually I know ahead of time if I’m going to make a purchase. Online purchases get a check mailed to them.

    • Ti December 6, 2019, 5:23 pm

      Cash 90 percent of the time. CC to throw a bone in.

  • Pat December 6, 2019, 6:22 am

    It’s time we remind these bolshevik traitors what real terror is. It’s long past time for there to be real world physical consequences for violating their oaths. It’s time to make them afraid once again. It’s time we send a message loud and clear, that the words in their oaths aren’t empty and they will be dealt with swiftly and cruelly for breaking them.

  • The SGM December 6, 2019, 5:55 am

    The unintended consequences, or maybe not so, will eventually lead to a list of owners even though that is already against the law. The basic intent of her legislation is the same as our current background check

  • Kevin Cote December 6, 2019, 5:33 am

    I propose a law that would require every public servant, elected, appointed or hired to wear an exploding neck collar that woukd self detonate immediatly upon any violation of their oath to The Constitution for the united States of America or any violation of anyones natural or eneumerated Rights.
    This would put an end to this Treason…yes Treason, they are all our employees and fiduciaries. The servant cannot rule the master.

  • SuperG December 4, 2019, 10:21 am

    Everybody should be scared of this Bill. It gives censorship rights to CC companies, and is ripe to be abused by them. Then you have the federal government overseeing your purchases, and they could change their product focus to anything they want. Or any organization, too!

    • joefoam December 6, 2019, 7:38 am

      Absolutely correct. We have enough gov’t snooping as it is. As stated, the parameters could be changed for any purchase.

    • Steve in Detroit December 6, 2019, 8:54 am

      You are spot on. This creates a list for FBI. or any other alphabet gov org to use in ways individual agent see’s fit. We all know how impartial these agents are, especially when dealing with President Trump. We are on the slippery slop to a overreaching leftist state. God save the Republic. Trump/Pence 2020

  • Will Drider December 4, 2019, 1:21 am

    A standard for mass shooting is causing injury/death to four people excluding the murderer. Ammo is generally sold in boxes: handgun with 50 cartridges, rifle with 20 cartridges and shotgun with 25 shells. Add a single firearm to any basic ammo purchase and therein lies enough capability for an evil person to commit several mass shootings.

    Rep. Wexton, please tell me how this simple, common and minor purchase done hundreds of thousands of times a year will single out and highlight a mass murderer? It can’t be done! You want to broadly violate citizen’s Fourt Ammendment Rights without a Warrant. The only thing your really attempting to do is track ALL firearm commerce direct to citizens, further to use that tool to as a finiancial weapon against gun owners with some B.S. future study that firearms owners are bad credit risks or liabilities for their support and use of 2A Rights.

    To bad you don’t understand anything your trying to put your fingers into. You ever hear of “Cash”? How about money orders? And that’s how honest citizens will avoid your snooping on their private business. How many criminals buy their guns and ammo with credit/debit cards? Your ignorant and just trying to put your name on the knee jerk Do something/I did something list.

    Federal Agencies weaponizing financial instutions against firearm/ammo/accessories was done before and Pres. TRUMP KILLED IT! We’ve seen that bogus effort before, yours will end up in the trash can sooner or later.

    Tens of thousands of firearms enthusiasts buy ammunition in bulk at discount prices. Same as people buy 36 roll of TP, 2 dozen pairs of socks, 100lb of flour or a side of beef.

    You

    • Robert Frasconi December 6, 2019, 7:01 am

      Excellent comment!

    • Anthony Richard December 6, 2019, 3:27 pm

      Could not have said better myself. This is not about preventing a mass murder, this is about identifying gun owners for later confiscation.

    • PB- dave December 6, 2019, 9:18 pm

      Will, did you intend to item other than guns and ammo, or was that by chance ?
      Because gun and ammo purchases would not be the extent of the surveyed item activities…. obviously gun parts, 80% items, reloading components, as time goes on…. the list expands to tooling, materials, raw chemicals, further refining includes petroleum products, cleaning supplies, and then the wild-azz swag includes surplus and prep-er gear. So buying a gallon can of WD-40 at NAPA, or a couple BIG boxes of tide at Costco , or camping gear and MRE’s could put Joe the mechanic or Pete the fisherman on the bad boy watch list……. slippery slopes everywhere these days….. maybe common sense will prevail someday

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