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As background check proposals are filed, Florida seeks to shield gun purchase information

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Agriculture Commissioner Wilton Simpson announced a proposal that takes aim at credit-card companies separately categorizing sales at gun shops.

During an appearance at Lawmen’s & Shooters’ Supply in Titusville on Tuesday, Simpson said the proposal is intended to prohibit financial institutions from collecting and monitoring information on Floridians’ firearm and ammunition purchases.

“Credit card companies are being told that they have to assign a code to gun sales and ammo sales at gun stores,” Simpson said. “They aren’t even hiding their purpose. They want to track, control, intimidate, and I believe ultimately take away the right of law-abiding citizens to bear arms.”

The proposal, which would require approval during the 2023 legislative session, is backed by state Sen. Danny Burgess, R- Zephyrhills, and Rep. John Snyder, R-Stuart, who joined Simpson on Tuesday.

It came as Sen. Tina Polsky, D-Boca Raton, and Rep. Dan Daley, D-Coral Springs, on Tuesday filed proposals (SB 146, SB 148, HB 151 and HB 153) that would require background checks on the sale or transfer of ammunition.

The measure is dubbed Jaime’s Law, after 14-year old Jaime Guttenberg, one of 17 students and faculty members killed in the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

In September, Visa joined Mastercard and American Express in moving forward with plans to categorize gun shop sales, a step gun-control advocates say will help track any suspicious sales tied to potential mass shootings.

What is known as a separate “merchant category code” would be added to a list of purchase codes on sales made at retailers.

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