Government officials continue deputizing private businesses to implement restrictive policies that can't win traction through the political process or are forbidden by the Constitution. The latest target is gun rights.
The newest development comes in the form of a specific merchant category code for retailers of firearms and ammunition, breaking them out from the broader category of specialty retailers in which they were previously included. The code makes credit card purchases from such businesses much easier to track and potentially exposes buyers and sellers to harassment.
The new code is touted as an anti-crime measure, but its advocates don't specify how tagging all transactions by associated vendors will identify suspicious activity.