Representatives Michael Meredith and Derek Lewis

Meredith, Lewis Measure Protecting Kentucky Firearms Purchasers Clears Senate and Delivered to Governor

FRANKFORT, KY  – An important protection for firearms purchasers and retailers was delivered to Governor Andy Beshear on March 14th after it cleared the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday, March 13th.

The measure, House Bill 357, would prohibit merchant processors from using specific merchant category codes for transactions involving the sale of firearms and/or ammunition. It is sponsored by Representative Michael Meredith of Oakland and Representative Derek Lewis of London.

“This measure simply protects Kentuckians from an unconstitutional infringement on their privacy. We thought this issue was resolved, but we continue to hear folks advocate for a designated code that could be used to segregate buyers and make it easier to discriminate against gun shops and firearms retailers,” Meredith said.

While Kentucky and other states are moving towards banning the use of these merchant codes, other states are moving in the opposite direction. California and New York have mandated their use. In addition, this past December, a group of congressional members sent a letter to all major credit card companies requesting that they require the use of merchant codes in states where they are not yet prohibited so that purchases may be flagged.

“I appreciate the Senate’s overwhelming and bi-partisan support of this measure as well as that of our colleagues in the House. I am hopeful the Governor will recognize that Kentuckians expect their elected officials to support their constitutional rights and sign HB 357,” Lewis added. “However, if he chooses to veto it as he has more than a hundred other bills and resolutions, we stand ready to push for an override.”

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.

Kentucky’s governors have ten days to consider legislation after it is approved by the House and Senate. He or she may sign the measure, veto it, or allow it to become law without a signature. Lawmakers have until April 15 to consider any vetoes that might be issued this session.

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





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