Credit cards

US gun deaths hit another record high, credit cards will start reporting purchases

New interim data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on firearm mortality shows that deaths from gun violence and suicide have continued to rise due to the pandemic throughout 2021, Trace reports. At least 48,832 people died from gun-related deaths in 2021, the highest number since the national tally began.

Homicide and suicide contributed equally to the increase in firearm deaths in 2021. Both categories recorded record totals and each saw an increase of nearly 8% over the previous year, according to the data.

This annual increase in firearm homicides was significantly lower than the 34.5% increase between 2019 and 2020, but may show that the United States is not yet off the hook after the violence pandemic surges. army and suicides.

According to the data, people of color made up a disproportionately high percentage of victims: Black males between the ages of 15 and 34 accounted for 41% of firearm homicide victims in 2021.

White males accounted for about 70% of firearm suicide victims throughout the year. Black people, who don’t normally have high rates of gun suicide, have seen a shocking 22% increase in gun suicides between 2020 and 2021. Experts are concerned about the gradual increase in suicides firearms among people of color in recent years, particularly among children and adolescents.

At the state level, rates of gun violence in 2021 varied widely. New York, which just had its concealed carry requirements relaxed by Supreme Court order, had one of the lowest gun death rates in the country, along with Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey and Rhode. Island. The states with the highest gun death rates were Wyoming, Mississippi, Louisiana, New Mexico and Alabama.

Meanwhile, in an effort to flag unusual purchases and reduce mass shootings, Visa, Mastercard and American Express will introduce a new merchant category for gun retailers, the Wall Street Journal reports. The new code is aimed at retailers whose main activity is the sale of firearms. Gun shops were previously frequently labeled as specialty retailers or durable goods sellers, which include a considerably wider range of businesses. The card networks have announced that they will try to put the new code into action while promoting legal transactions and protecting customer privacy.

Gun rights activists have long opposed such changes, arguing that they could unfairly restrict the legal purchase of firearms. However, proponents of implementing a new MCC for gun and ammunition sellers have cited recent instances of credit cards being used to purchase guns that were then used in mass shootings. It is unclear if or how law enforcement would be notified of information flagged by the new code.