If credit card companies say they won’t front suspicious firearm purchases, they can just stop doing business in Florida. At least, that’s the message Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis wants the state to send.
The Cabinet member said Florida’s government will act against any credit card companies targeting the right to bear arms.
“The Second Amendment is foundational to our American way of life. The idea that law-abiding Americans would be put on some kind of corporate watchlist is disturbing,” Patronis said.
“Our rights come from our Creator, not the government, and especially not big corporations. It is clear that the actions by these credit card companies are part of a larger effort to curtail God-given constitutional rights of Americans.”
Patronis fired out his thoughts on the matter after the International Organization for Standardization approved a new merchant code for credit and debit cards purchased at gun shops. The Switzerland-based organization sets global standards for payment transactions, and is holding an annual meeting this week in Abu Dhabi.
After the announcement of the new code, Visa, MasterCard and American Express announced they would use the code to track spending patterns on firearms, according to CNBC.
Gun control advocates say that’s a positive step allowing credit card companies to act on red flags such as a domestic buildup of firearms for a local extremist movement.
But Patronis called it social engineering and part of a trend toward “environment, social and corporate governance,” or ESG.
“It is also symptomatic of the virus known as ESG, which is part of a global effort to socially re-engineer the country that we love so much,” Patronis said. “There is no way we are going to allow that to happen in the free state of Florida.”
He said the Legislature must act in a coming Legislative Session if credit card services use their power to erode Floridians’ access to guns.
“If we come to the legislative session and companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express are generating these reports to create a chilling effect against the purchase of firearms, then I’ll work with the Legislature to pass a law penalizing businesses who are targeting the right to bear arms,” Patronis said.
“We’ve seen a groundbreaking ruling come out of the Fifth Circuit limiting corporations’ ability to curtail American’s constitutional rights, so we are on solid legal footing to pursue a bill protecting Floridians 2nd Amendment Rights. We can also take it a step further by barring these companies from doing any business with the State of Florida. We will send a message out to these large corporations that if you are interested in doing business with Florida, you need to make sure that you’re protecting Floridians’ right to arm and defend themselves.”
Patronis right now is seeking a second full term as CFO. He faces Democrat Adam Hattersley in the Nov. 8 General Election