Visa-Owned Credit Card Processor Cuts Off Gun Shop for Selling Guns

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Visa Subsidiary Cuts Off Store For Selling Guns
A small credit card processor is taking fire after it reportedly terminated its relationship with a gun store, citing a policy against doing business with firearm merchants.

North Carolina's Hyatt Gun Shop says that it received an email from Authorize.net saying that it would no longer handle the shop's online transactions. The company pointed to its long-standing policy against working with merchants who sell firearms.

Speaking to Fox News, store manager Mitchell Hyatt acknowledged the Authorize.net was within its rights to terminate the relationship, but added that it "certainly seemed to be more of a political agenda than a business decision."

Authorize.net is part of CyberSource, which was acquired by Visa (V) in April 2010.

The company's terms of service page does indeed state that "You will not at any time conduct Your business in any manner that... is associated with the sale of firearms." But it's not clear how Authorize.net failed to notice that it was doing business with a merchant that bills itself as "America's largest gun shop." Perhaps it was simply a failure of due diligence, or perhaps recent mass shootings have prompted the company to do a better job of monitoring that particular aspect of its policy.

The conservative Washington Examiner favors that explanation, and pointedly notes that several Visa executives donated to the campaign of President Obama, an outspoken advocate of gun control. But that connection seems tenuous, as Visa itself has no such policy against working with companies that sell firearms.

Rather, it seems that Authorize.net just has unusual standards for its merchant partners: Its terms of service also state that it won't do business with companies selling "adult, sexually oriented, or obscene materials or services," and it likewise has an oddly specific policy against e-cigarettes. Those policies pre-date the company's acquisition by Visa.

Still, Authorize.net and CyberSource now find themselves the target of a boycott effort, with the website Grass Roots North Carolina calling on readers to complain to the company and avoid any e-commerce sites using one of those payment processors.

Matt Brownell is the consumer and retail reporter for DailyFinance. You can reach him at Matt.Brownell@teamaol.com, and follow him on Twitter at @Brownellorama.

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131 Comments

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RAF 803

hmm,, wonder if they do business with the abortion clinics ?

23 MILLION children murdered ..

October 02 2013 at 3:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

I wonder if they deal with businesses that sell ski-masks and large overcoats?

October 01 2013 at 4:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dajewelman

I will do business with any and all legit merchants....stevescibilia@yahoo.com Evo merchant services

October 01 2013 at 4:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
boyadj45

other processors will pick up the business.

October 01 2013 at 3:23 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Richard

From our experience Authorize.net is a pain in the ass. This gun shop would be well served by selecting one of the other MANY credit card processing companies! Hopefully, other firearms companies using this processor will also dump them.

October 01 2013 at 3:06 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Rick

Get another company to handle the credit charges. Don't let them bully you into doing something you believe in and the law allows!

October 01 2013 at 2:37 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
agolfingfreak

Banks now tell us what we can and can't buy! My money and I'll do with it what I want, and it won't be obamacare

October 01 2013 at 12:47 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to agolfingfreak's comment
petey

Visa is not a bank. Buy your own health care and you won't need to sign up for the ACA. It's very simple.........as are you.

October 01 2013 at 2:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to petey's comment
BLow

Spoken like a true leech.

October 01 2013 at 3:05 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down
WELCOME STEVE

Lovely, more "gun control" and yet no more attention to the rampant mental illness in the US. I would hate to tell those geniuses in power, but we have an untreated mental illness problem and not a gun problem. But then these are the same wonderful folks who brought you the non-existing WMDs in Iraq, so what is there to expect?

October 01 2013 at 12:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
jflavery

The issue appears related to mail order sale of fire arms, which is an admirable stance. Authorize.net is primarily an e-commerce gateway intended for card not present/mail order transactions.

October 01 2013 at 11:06 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to jflavery's comment
hyperpak

FYI You can not buy firearms by mail

October 01 2013 at 11:48 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to hyperpak's comment
Fred

you sure can.....they have to be sent a FFL dealer first so that the purchaser can be security checked.

October 01 2013 at 12:56 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down
jusposten

You should get up to speed before making such (false) statements!

"Engage brain before putting mouth in gear"

October 01 2013 at 2:28 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down
William

You can't "mail order" guns. That was stopped after the Kennedy assasination.

October 01 2013 at 4:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
rbi2787

Listen to this Visa..........That is me cutting up my Visa cards. Plenty of other options

October 01 2013 at 11:03 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply