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Tennessee Moves to Safeguard Privacy of 2A Transactions

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Handguns in a display case at a gun shop

On Tuesday, April 23, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed into law the “Second Amendment Financial Privacy Act,” known as Senate Bill 2223 (SB2223) which safeguards the privacy of firearm and ammunition purchases. The new legislation was lauded by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearm industry trade association.

“This legislation is crucial in protecting the financial privacy of citizens exercising their Constitutional rights,” said Lawrence G. Keane, NSSF Senior Vice President & General Counsel. “NSSF is grateful to state Representative Rusty Grills and state Senator Jack Johnson for their efforts in ushering this legislation through.”

SB2223 prohibits financial institutions from using credit card merchant codes to track firearm and ammunition purchases in the state. Specifically, it prevents financial institutions from requiring or permitting the assignment of a specific merchant category code (MCC) to firearm retailers, thereby ensuring that purchases are not discriminated against or disclosed.

Additionally, it prohibits the creation of lists, records, or registries of private firearm ownership by state and local government entities. Violations of the merchant code ban could result in civil penalties of up to $10,000 and an investigation from the attorney general.

Similar laws exist in other states, including Mississippi, Idaho, North Dakota, Montana, Texas, and Florida, underscores a growing trend towards protecting Second Amendment financial privacy.

On April 25, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed a similar law. HB 1018, “Second Amendment Privacy Act” is also backed by the NSSF. Including Georgia, there are now 14 states with laws that protect the Second Amendment financial privacy of their citizens.

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