Declined: Jimmy Patronis plans to void credit companies curtailing gun sales

Patronis
If companies want to track stockpiling of assault weapons, the CFO said it's time Florida cancels some cards.

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

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


20 comments

  • SteveHC

    September 21, 2022 at 12:04 pm

    This is nothing more than b.s. political theatrics, orherwise commonly referred to as grandstanding – irrational statements intended to appeal to voters of the lowest common denominator in order to simply attract their votes.

    Reply

    • Paul Passarelli

      September 21, 2022 at 1:50 pm

      Theatrics? Many see it as a appropriate response to bureaucratic overreach. Just because the some international standards bureau adopts a code for a financial transaction, doesn’t mean that rights are not being violated.

      Suppose your daughter was buying birth control, regularly for years, then *stopped* buying it for anything from 2-8 months then *started* buying it again?

      Well the government could infer that she became pregnant, then decided to abort the fetus. So they send a brute squad to arrest here and charge her with an illegal abortion.

      Is that what you want? Because the ability to track every purchase brings that possibility into sharp focus.

      I’m lobbying for *EVERYONE’S* right to privacy. Your side is willing to trade it simply to punish people you imagine are harmful. Well that scares me. So if you are successful I can *PROMISE* people like me will find a loophole and gather compromising financial & purchase data on people like you and make you suffer for your stupidity.

      BTW are you real or just another Whack-a-Mole Chi-Com Troll, as Tom has identified?

      Reply

      • Bill

        September 22, 2022 at 8:10 am

        How is it bureaucratic overreach? I’ve worked for banks and pretty much everything has a merchant code and yes that data is obfuscated and used by say the Fed to see if their interest rate hikes are having the desired effect (restaurant spending down and grocery store spending up) . Once you use a piece of plastic to buy something, you give up all rights to privacy and you sign that agreement when you get the card. This adds up to literally petabytes of data and if somebody really wants to track an individual, they’d have to be pretty determined.
        I’ll still use my debit card to buy ammunition and if I feel the need, to buy a weapon ’cause I’m pretty sure nobody cares.
        Just my 2 cents worth.

        Reply

        • Paul Passarelli

          September 22, 2022 at 9:50 am

          That’s your choice. It might conceivably be my choice as well. What I expect almost every gun shop to do is change their merchant code to “Pawn Shop” in response to the overreach.

          But as much as I *HATE* government regulations, I really like the idea of ‘cancelling the CC companies’ ability to do business in the state if they continue to make judgements that go outside of what the voters desire.

          The point of government regulation should be to create a level playing field. No merchant has the depth of pocket to compete with a BANK — that’s why we tolerate regulated monopolies. As long as it is a lawful product, the banks to not get to pick & choose who can & cannot use their services, just like the power company, gas company, water department & sewer services, etc.

          Now what I really want to see attached to the threat to shut down the CC companies is a clause in that law to ban the government’s ability to request that data, once they implement the new codes.

          Reply

          • Concern Citizen

            September 22, 2022 at 1:07 pm

            Paul is sounding like a socialist. Telling capitalistic entities on how to do business.

          • Bill

            September 22, 2022 at 1:19 pm

            It’s tricky to be sure. This is an international standard which banks have to adhere to by law so I’m not sure the state can’t do much. I could see where lillte jimmy gang banger from Chicago could drive to a state with constitutional carry and buy $10K worth of guns on a credit card, take them back home and sell them to his buddies for cash, pay the credit card bill and pocket the difference and assuming the cops went before a judge for a warrant, maybe look to the banks for evidence of a crime but how much do honest gun owners have to put up with as a result? No easy answers here.

      • More CW BS

        September 22, 2022 at 8:18 am

        The BS is that this is already occurring. This classification is no different than current classifications for restaurants, healthcare, entertainment, home improvement. This one just happens to have triggered the gun nuts and the culture warriors. Nothing of substance to see here.

        The govt doesn’t need this to know you bought guns. They already know that by the merchant ID. If you want real privacy, buy in cash.

        Reply

        • Paul Passarelli

          September 22, 2022 at 10:17 am

          I use CCs for almost everything. I value the convenience.

          But I’d like to point out that for many purchases(*) the CC companies make almost(**) as much as the merchants, the distributors, the transporters, the manufacturers, and the primary suppliers of the raw materials that go into every product we buy.

          (*) virtually all competitive commodity purchases like gasoline
          (**) when gas prices are stable, the CC’s make more than the gas stations that sell the gas.

          Reply

      • marylou

        September 22, 2022 at 12:53 pm

        “Your side is willing to trade it simply to punish people you imagine are harmful.” My side has been exposing and objecting to the surveillance of citizens for years. Companies and governments are using smartphone apps, law enforcement surveillance (and sharing at all levels) of citizens’ daily lives, social media surveillance software, surveillance of 1st Amendment protected activities…all warrantless. In Feb it was uncovered that CIA has been collecting data on Americans since at least 2014. — The Intercept

        Patronis is either uninformed or unconcerned about the extent of existing surveillance. His retaliation against companies who don’t obey his orders is unacceptable.

        He comments on ESGs, but the government should not be involved in reverse-ESG! ESG is not a “virus”. It is a product created by Free Market Capitalists to generate profits. There is investor demand for ESG, and no one is forcing ESG on anyone! It’s not Patronis’s right to damage the economy and limit consumers’ choices, to serve his own purposes. Maybe he is over-invested in oil. He should diversify his portfolio! It is past time for the ‘Invisible Hand’ to grab him by whatever’s available.

        Reply

        • Paul Passarelli

          September 22, 2022 at 5:05 pm

          And so why are you objecting? We’ve got a Republican CFO that is opposing surveillance, so are you just being hypocritical, or do you hate the GOP so viscously that you’re willing to capitulate?
          You can’t have it both ways. #DemocratFail

          Reply

          • marylou

            September 22, 2022 at 8:14 pm

            I’m objecting to government control and retaliation against companies. Also, government limiting consumers’ choices and consumers’ ability to use the market to influence corporate products and policies . Petronis is also threatening shareholder rights to demand things other than short term profits–ESG issues, for example.

            I didn’t find much information on the codes, except that at Visa, no transactions will be denied based on codes, and that Visa will not have any “visibility” into items purchased.

            I criticize Democrats, too!

      • marylou

        September 22, 2022 at 2:12 pm

        “Your side is willing to trade it simply to punish people you imagine are harmful.” My side has been exposing and objecting to the surveillance of citizens for years. Companies and governments are using smartphone apps, law enforcement surveillance (and sharing at all levels) of citizens’ daily lives, social media surveillance software, surveillance of 1st Amendment protected activities…all warrantless. In Feb it was uncovered that CIA has been collecting data on Americans since at least 2014. — The Intercept

        Patronis is either uninformed or unconcerned about the extent of existing surveillance. His retaliation against companies who don’t obey his orders is unacceptable.

        He comments on ESGs, but the government should not be involved in reverse-ESG! ESG is not a “virus”. It is a product created by Free Market Capitalists to generate profits. There is investor demand for ESG, and no one is forcing ESG on anyone! It’s not Patronis’s right to damage the economy and limit consumers’ choices, to serve his own purposes. Maybe he is over-invested in oil. He should diversify his portfolio! It is past time for the ‘Invisible Hand’ to grab him by whatever’s available.

        Reply

  • martin

    September 21, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    This is the 100% correct response response to this left wing progressive over-reach.
    What might be next? Doctor visits for psychiatric problems? Pharmacy payments for certain classes of drugs? Liquor store purchases?
    Time to shut this nonsense down ASAP!

    Reply

    • Paul Passarelli

      September 21, 2022 at 6:00 pm

      Excellent points, Martin.

      Of course the Trolls here, like the cockroaches they are will now run and hide in another dark corner.

      Thanks for keeping it real.

      Reply

  • Avy115

    September 21, 2022 at 3:43 pm

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    Reply

  • Amanda Turner

    September 22, 2022 at 9:16 am

    Another Republican thug with blood on his tiny little fingers. Rot in Hell!

    Reply

  • Wendy

    September 22, 2022 at 9:57 am

    I’m so sick of seeing pols say our rights come from God, not the constitution. If so, then why did we need the constitution which explicitly outlines those rights that did not exist prior to it? No RW claim is too nuts these days.

    Reply

    • Paul Passarelli

      September 22, 2022 at 10:24 am

      @Wendy & @Amanda, (as if either alias(*) is real)

      You both(*) must be a special kind of stupid. Your rights are *NATURAL* Then Constitution places limits on government to stop the majority from depriving you of those natural rights.

      Simultaneously, there is no “Hell” to rot in; besides the living hell the Democrats are trying to create here on Earth.

      (*) Go away you Whack-a-Mole Chi-Com Troll.

      Reply

      • Tjb

        September 22, 2022 at 3:14 pm

        Alway kind and sensitive comments from Mr. 1%,

        Reply

        • Paul Passarelli

          September 22, 2022 at 4:18 pm

          What do you expect? If you want happy feelz, go hang out on Twitter. Trolls & fake profiles should feel right at home over there.

          I consider it a mitzvah to make liars, fraudsters, & scum uncomfortable among civilized people.

          In case my previous messages were too subtle: Go away.

          Reply

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