Brady and Guns Down America Applaud Signage of Colorado Merchant Category Code Bill, a Potentially Life-saving Measure

May 1, 2024

The bill would mandate banks and credit card companies implement the Merchant Category Code for firearms retailers

WASHINGTON, May 1, 2024Brady, the nation’s oldest gun violence prevention organization, and Guns Down America, a national organization leading the economic defense against the gun industry, applaud Governor Polis for signing Colorado’s gun store Merchant Category Code (MCC) bill into law. MCCs are used to identify restaurants, florists, and even snowmobile purchases, yet no federal law requires a specific MCC for firearms and ammunition sales. The new law mandates that banks and credit card companies utilize an MCC for Colorado businesses that have, or are expected to have, the highest sales volume of firearms, firearms accessories, or ammunition. This will allow financial institutions to identify and report to law enforcement known suspicious patterns that are highly suggestive of planning a mass shooting and of illegal firearms trafficking—such as repetitive purchases at the same gun store or purchases at multiple gun stores with corresponding cash deposits—supplying them with a critical tool to interrupt trafficking rings that flood our communities with guns and violence.

Brady, Brady’s Team ENOUGH youth coalition, and Guns Down America organizers were pivotal in advocating for the passage of this life-saving legislation.

Kris Brown, President of Brady, said:

“Merchant Category Codes save lives, plain and simple. It defies common sense that industry-specific MCCs are applied to nearly every type of business but not gun and ammunition sellers. The use of these codes is not new; MCCs can already be used to identify human trafficking and fraud. By utilizing the MCC for firearms retailers, we have the potential to identify gun traffickers, take notice when people are building an arsenal of weapons, and stop gun violence before it starts. Brady is thankful to our partners in the Colorado legislature, the advocates and activists who supported this bill, and Governor Polis for signing this consequential law that will bring Colorado closer to a future free from gun violence.”

Hudson Munoz, Executive Director of Guns Down America, said:

“I was extremely proud to testify in support of Senate Bill 66. Governor Polis’s signing means a future bringing gun retailers up to the same standard as virtually every other Colorado retailer. In doing so, we are signaling the end of an era of Second Amendment exceptionalism that has put us all at risk. The existence of this code could have sounded the alarm before mass atrocities like the Aurora movie theater shooting, where the shooter racked up $11,000 in weapons using a MasterCard. Now that it’s signed into law, this legislation will allow financial institutions to detect and deter suspicious firearm purchases for law enforcement and bring us one step closer to a state where Coloradans can grocery shop, go to the movies, and live their lives without the threat of mass gun violence.”