FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 13, 2022
PROSECUTORS AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE ASK VISA AND MASTERCARD TO END USE OF THEIR CARDS TO PURCHASE “GHOST GUN” PARTS ONLINE
The national, non-partisan group Prosecutors Against Gun Violence (PAGV) has sent a letter to Visa and Mastercard requesting them to end their merchant relationships with online “ghost gun” kit sellers.
Mastercard and Visa have previously taken action to promote public safety by ending merchant relationships with extremist and white supremacist organizations and illegal websites such as Backpage.com, which facilitated sex trafficking.
PAGV asks the credit card companies to help stop ghost guns kit sellers from proliferating these dangerous weapons that have played a major role in exacerbating the gun violence epidemic across the nation.
Bronx County District Attorney Darcel D. Clark and Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, co-chairs of PAGV, said, “With the assistance of Everytown for Gun Safety, we wrote to Mastercard and Visa regarding what is arguably the most serious gun safety problem facing this country: ghost guns. People are buying firearms parts online and building them in their homes.
“The firearm has no serial number, and the purchaser does not undergo a background check, making the guns untraceable and allowing them to get into the hands of youth, the mentally ill and others who should not be armed. Ghost guns are increasingly being used in violent crimes — including homicides, kidnappings, and car jackings —across the nation.”
Nick Suplina, Senior Vice President of Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety, said, “Stopping the spread of ghost guns must be an all-hands-on-deck effort, and prosecutors know better than most how much of a danger these illegal guns pose. We’re proud to join with these law enforcement leaders in calling on credit card companies to do their part in combating this growing threat to public safety.”
On April 11, 2022, President Biden announced a significant step to stem the tide of ghost guns. The U.S. Department of Justice has a new rule which redefines firearms to include ghost gun kits purchased online and requires manufacturers/distributors of these components to become federally licensed, perform background checks prior to sale, and put serial numbers on the parts.
However, this rule will not take effect until August 2022 at the earliest. PAGV is asking Visa and Mastercard to take action now to help keep hundreds if not thousands of ghost guns from being built and used in crimes in the next three months.
Read letter here:
PAGV is an independent coalition of approximately 50 prosecutors from diverse jurisdictions throughout the United States, working toward solutions to end gun violence. The group brings together prosecutors to discuss policies, legislation, and strategies to help prevent and confront gun violence in their jurisdictions.
To stay up to date with PAGV’s progress, join the mailing list at ProsecutorsAGV.org, and follow PAGV on Facebook and Twitter.