Tuesday, January 24, 2023

State Sen. Bergstrom files bill to protect firearm purchase privacy

Sen. Bergstrom files Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act

 OKLAHOMA CITY – Sen. Micheal Bergstrom, R-Adair, has filed Senate Bill 814, the Oklahoma Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act, prohibiting credit card companies from sharing information about lawful firearm and ammunition purchases. His legislation would allow citizens and merchants to file lawsuits and seek damages against those who violate SB 814’s provisions. 

Bergstrom said he’s attempting to stop a backdoor attempt at gun control in violation of the Second Amendment. Last fall, three of the world’s largest credit card companies announced they were going to begin using a special code for firearms retailers.  That action came at the urging of 28 members of Congress who sent a public letter calling on these companies to start tracking firearms purchases. 

“The politicians who sent the letter claimed the coding would help expose potential financing of terrorism, but the truth is, the end result is mass surveillance of constitutionally protected firearms and ammunition purchases.  Make no mistake, their end game is gun control, which is why I’ve filed SB 814,” Bergstrom said.  “If there’s a valid suspicion of criminal activity, law enforcement can always get a search warrant, but we’re not going to allow these companies to snoop on law-abiding citizens or intimidate them on behalf of the government.”

Under SB 814, a credit card company could not disclose a customer’s protected financial information, including firearms purchases, without written consent from the customer. Credit card companies would also be prohibited from charging a higher fee or declining a lawful transaction or declining to do business with a customer or merchant based on that code.

Those individuals who negligently or recklessly violate the act could be sued by customers or merchants for $10,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater.  An intentional violation could result in damages of $25,000 or actual damages, whichever is greater.

“This legislation is designed to prevent credit card companies from taking any action against a customer or merchant that is intended to suppress the lawful sale and purchase of firearms or ammunition,” Bergstrom said.  “Others states like Florida and West Virginia are looking at similar legislation.  I hope our Legislature moves quickly to get this bill to Governor Stitt’s desk for his signature.”


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