Maxwell Frost, Jared Moskowitz on Parkland anniversary push credit card companies to flag unusual gun sales
New blood in Congress — now it’s time to get to work.

moskowitz frost
The Identify Gun Stores Act would preempt Florida law prohibiting merchant codes on gun sales.

On the sixth anniversary of the Parkland shooting, Florida Democrats in Congress are asking credit companies to flag suspicious gun purchases.

U.S. Reps. Jared Moskowitz and Maxwell Frost filed legislation clearing the way for merchant codes to allow for that. The Identify Gun Stores Act would override laws in several states, including one signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year.

Moskowitz, a Parkland Democrat and a former member of DeSantis’ administration, said Congress has to do more to curb gun violence in the country. He held a press conference in Washington calling for action on the sixth anniversary of the Parkland shooting that claimed 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in 2018.

He served in the Florida Legislature at time and recalled how the tragedy pressed lawmakers to enact Florida’s first new gun safety laws in decades.

“Why does it take a Parkland, or a Uvalde, or quite frankly when gun violence impacts an individual family?” Moskowitz said, also referencing a school shooting in Texas in 2022. “Why do we need these mass events to get our attention?”

He noted that the Parkland bill passed in Florida included many bipartisan provisions on school hardening and other measures. The bill at the time saw numerous Democrats vote against it because they felt it didn’t do enough to curb access to assault weapons, while many Republicans opposed it for measures like raising the gun-buying age for many weapons to 21.

Moskowitz said Congress could likely marshal support for measures that stopped some crimes as well.

“There are bipartisan things we can do if this Congress can just figure out how to function,” he said.

Frost referenced another Florida shooting when discussing the newly filed bill. The Orlando Democrat said if credit card companies could track gun purchases, it might have prevented the Pulse shooting in 2016.

“The Pulse nightclub shooter racked up more than $26,000 in credit card charges on guns and ammunition in the 12 days ahead of his killing spree,” Frost said, “and before he did that, the shooter ran several online searches to determine whether or not the unusual spending would get flagged by credit card companies or not.”

The legislation filed by Frost and Moskowitz would specifically preempt states from outlawing specific merchant codes for firearm sales.

But some states have done just that, including Florida. Such a ban was part of a digital currency ban DeSantis signed in May. At the time, the Governor suggested using special merchant codes for firearms could lead to controls on legal purchases of guns.

“Maybe you bought a firearm last week and they don’t want you to buy another one this week,” DeSantis said. “Anyone with their eyes open can see the dangers of what this type of arrangement would mean.”

Frost said the danger is to the victims of gun violence, including the 49 murdered at Pulse and 17 killed at Parkland.

Moskowitz’s press conference included supportive comments from Democratic leadership in the House. Democratic Whip Katherine Clark, who toured Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in January, said Washington must do more to protect children from gun violence.

“The slaughtering of children in their classrooms is not preordained,” she said.

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].


  • Dont Say FLA

    February 14, 2024 at 3:47 pm

    $26,000? Dang that’s a lot. That shooter could’ve had the same outcome with just $4,000 and that’s buying new, not used.

  • F. Williams

    February 15, 2024 at 12:52 pm

    To say that we need credit card tracking/reporting of firearm purchases to stop potential mass murderers reeks of excusing the repeated negligence of law enforcement agencies to take action when they receive actionable information prior to a violent incident. The murderer who attacked Stoneman-Douglas HS in Parkland, FL had a long list of law enforcement interactions for threatening domestic incidents, but no action had been taken. Further, when law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, were advised the would be murderer was posting on the internet that he planned to attack a school, those tips were mishandled and no action was taken. Law enforcement was similarly warned far in advance of concerning statements made by the Pulse Nightclub murderer. He was interviewed on two occasions by the FBI. On the second occasion, he admitted lying during the first interview, yet no action was taken and he was cleared.

    The repeated failures of law enforcement to stop mass murderers even after receiving clear information of threats/threatening behavior flies in the face of an alleged need for more investigative tools for law enforcement to stop them.

  • Conservative always

    February 15, 2024 at 3:52 pm

    This wouldn’t even pass the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Comments are closed.


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