Representatives Michael Meredith and Derek Lewis

Meredith, Lewis Measure Protecting Firearms Purchasers Passes House in Frankfort, KY

FRANKFORT. KY – Legislation that would prohibit merchant processors from using specific merchant category codes for transactions involving the sale of firearms and/or ammunition is one step closer to becoming law after passing the Kentucky House on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

“Despite countless attacks over the years, the Second Amendment continues to protect our right to keep and bear arms. However, we continue to hear folks advocate for a designated code that could be used to infringe on the privacy of buyers while making potential discrimination against gun shops and firearms retailers easier. We felt like this was an opportunity to get ahead of it with House Bill 357,” Meredith said.

House Bill 357, filed by Representative Michael Meredith of Oakland and Representative Derek Lewis of London, would prohibit the use specific merchant category codes during the sale of a firearm and/or ammunition. The issue stems from a move by the International Organization for Standardization, a global network of unelected officials based in Geneva, Switzerland. In 2022, the organization created a four-digit merchant category code for firearms retailers in a move that many felt was aimed at tracking purchases.

While 18 states, including Kentucky, have proposed measures to prohibit the use of these merchant codes, other states are moving in the opposite direction. California and New York have mandated the use of these codes, and similar measure is currently making its way through the Colorado state legislature. This is in addition to the federal congressional support such mandates have received. This past December, 47 members of Congress sent a letter to all major credit card companies requesting that they mandate the use of merchant codes in states where they are not yet prohibited so that purchases may be flagged.

“This bill would protect the purchaser’s private information and ensure they’re not identified and profiled based simply on their exercise of a constitutional right in existence since 1791,” Lewis added.

HB 357 was passed by the House Standing Committee on Banking and Insurance, and is now headed to the full House for consideration.

For more information about HB 357 and to track its legislative progress, visit the Kentucky General Assembly’s website at



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