Gun control advocates haven’t had as much success politically as they had hoped. While a few states took measures to punish gun owners who did nothing wrong, the federal and most state governments left well enough alone. However, politics is just one way to forward your agenda. Some gun control advocates, the ones in actual positions of influence, are looking into implementing a private solution:
The financial companies have explored creating a new credit-card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants, or department stores, according to people familiar with the matter. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying, some of the people said.
Such data could allow banks to restrict purchases at certain businesses or monitor them. The talks, which are informal and might not lead to any action, have occurred against the backdrop of the national debate around guns in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., high-school shooting, which left 17 dead.
While the article notes that such a mechanism could be used to restrict gun purchases, it could also be used to establish a private registry.
A national gun registry has been at the top of the gun control advocates’ wish list. They know that confiscating firearms in the future would be far easier if gun owners were known to the State. But the politicians have so far been wary of implementing such a registry. If, on the other hand, financial institutions tracked which of their customers made firearm purchases, they would possess a de facto registry. Moreover, it would likely be a registry accessible to the federal government since it could subpoena the information.
Admittedly, this kind of registry would be easy enough to avoid by just paying cash for firearms. But such a strategy would only work if cash remained legal tender, which is something government busybodies are working to change.