Credit cards are used to facilitate gun crimes all across America – to deadly effect. The man who murdered 49 people at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida bought nearly $20,000 worth of guns and ammunition using credit cards just twelve days before his act of terror.
The gunman was clearly worried that this behavior looked suspicious. In the days leading up to his attack he Googled “credit card unusual spending,” “FBI,” “Credit card reports all three bureaus,” and “why banks stop your purchases.” But those worries were unfounded. His purchases went through.
Our new report found that credit cards have been used to finance dozens of gun crimes since 2019.
Here are three of those stories, ranging from terrorism to gun trafficking.
Brothers Moyad and Mahde Dannon purchased gun parts from multiple sellers over at least 6 months, splitting up purchases across sellers and using prepaid cards for some transactions to build an unknown number of ghost guns with the intention of trafficking them to ISIS.
An active duty U.S. Navy Sailor, Elijah Boykin, and accomplice, Elijah Barnes, made over 24 gun purchases totaling over $17,000. Boykin signed paperwork saying that he was the actual purchaser, but paid with Barnes’ credit card. Several guns were resold and discovered after their use in at least 3 violent crimes.
Demarcus Dixon and two accomplices used stolen credit cards to buy firearms. A victim called the store Dixon frequented to report an unauthorized charge while Dixon was there picking up another illegally purchased gun. This underscores the need for proactive fraud prevention to halt criminal gun purchases.
These are just three of the dozens of instances of federal gun crime committed through the financial system since 2019. See the full scope in Guns Down America's new report, "The Gun Store Exception."