Jennifer Wexton

Jennifer Wexton at the Loudoun Chamber Valor Awards in April.

Congresswoman Jennifer Wexton (D-Va.-10th) is looking to combat gun violence by using credit card information.

Wexton released details of a new proposal, the Gun Violence Prevention Through Financial Intelligence Act, in November.

Should the bill makes its way through Congress, lawmakers would direct the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) to assist financial institutions through its Financial Institutions Advisory Program in identifying and reporting suspicious or illegal financial activity related to firearms.

Banks are already required by the Bank Secrecy Act to have programs in place to detect and report suspicious activity concerning money laundering, terrorist financing or other criminal activities, according to Wexton’s office. FinCEN assists this reporting through the use of advisories that typically identify “red flags” that may indicate illicit activity.

Since 1996, FinCEN has periodically issued public and nonpublic advisories on things like foreign corruption, human smuggling, cybercrime, and fentanyl trafficking.

The new proposal would require FinCEN to spend up to a year collecting financial information for the purpose of issuing an advisory to assist financial institutions in identifying suspicious firearms transactions, officials said. Historically, retail-level purchase information -- or SKU-level data -- has been hard to obtain and the effectiveness of the advisory would depend on merchants sharing information about specific firearms products.

If FinCEN determines that the data collected is insufficient, they must submit a report to Congress detailing the process and identifying barriers to data collection.

The bill has gained support from the Michael Bloomberg-backed Everytown for Gun Safety and is cosponsored by Reps. Donald S. Beyer Jr. (D-Va.), Antonio Cárdenas (D-Calif.), Sean T. Casten (D-Ill.), Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.), Henry R. Cuellar (D-Texas), Madeleine C. Dean (D-Penn.), Alcee L. Hastings (D-Florida) and Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.).

“Banks, credit card companies, and retailers have unique insight into the behavior and purchasing patterns that can help identify and prevent mass shootings. We know that financial intelligence can be an effective tool to combat gun violence in the same way it is for money laundering, human smuggling, and fentanyl trafficking,” Wexton said in a prepared statement. 

(22) comments

amerigirl

I agree that red flags and banking info or anything that saves lives is a good thing. Here is my problem, felons can't own firearms. I still don't see why people convicted for white collar nonviolent crimes can't have their rights restored. It was never the use of violence or firearms or any type of weapon that made them felons. There should be a way the 2 sides can compromise that makes sense.

amerigirl

Jeanne T , once again you have nothing to say about the article. Once again you join in just to attack someone, and once again you have no basis for your remark. Is name calling the only thing you know how to do? Why don't you actually join in the discussion with some actual reasonable thoughts?

BobOhneiserEsq

First define the problem and then fashion solutions after thorough evaluation! It seems most terrorist acts with guns are not done in the home of the terrorist and done by what general society would consider abnormal, unreasonable or mentally unbalanced people. Why not consider how to force gun manufactures to install nano sized gps devices that alert police when the guns are mobile and how to force psychologists and social network providers to be more liable for not reporting perceived threatening behavior (not just gun related behavior)? Finally, why not crack down on the dark net for the crime syndicate network it really is instead of playing entrapment games using it? Just some thoughts as we approach the holidays where most of those protecting us will be on vacation and terrorists may not be. :-)

ChickenChucker

Why doesn't the government turn over their responsibilities to somebody else. They are so overpaid and underworked getting into our personal lives. Next thing the government will be collecting and publishing all our personal information. Wait, congressman Schiff has already started. Problem - CONGRESS - SOLUTION - Amend Constitution to eliminate Congress. It will never happen, but you better wake up or the Bill of Rights will disappear.

amerigirl

Another blatant lie. Schiff did not release any personal data. Try facebook

amerigirl

Congress serves a much needed purpose, not only to represent the people so they have a voice not some dictator or wanna be like trump but for checks and balances. You people who blindly follow trump and his unamerican teaching remind me of the line of ducklings following their mother.

ChickenChucker

And then unamergirl will call me un-American, for not supporting the impeachment.

hardworkingamerican

Well this is where the liberals are headed, next will be thought crime, oh wait they are already trying to impeach Trump for that. We should be scared of Wexton, she has her phone aids bend the truth if you call in and complain, so why wouldn't she want to spy on you through your credit card. After all the whole last three years has been made up and falsified information just look at the IG report. Virginia must stop handing over our rights to the Wextons of the world. Vote in 2020 and get her out.

amerigirl

Blew that one way out of proportion, bordering on another conspiracy theory?

marv

Is speeding, DUI, reckless driving, vehicular homicide, hit &run,etc. ever called "car violence"??

amerigirl

The first 3 no, the last yes.

ace10

Money laundering, Illegal. Terrorist financing, Illegal. Foreign corruption, Illegal. Human smuggling, Illegal. Cybercrime, Illegal. Fentanyl trafficking, Illegal. Purchasing a firearm from a licensed dealer using a credit card? Apparently on its way to being a crime. The mere proposal of something like this should scare each and every American. Regardless of one's position on the 2nd Amendment. Wexton is an enemy of liberty and the principles upon which this nation was founded.

amerigirl

I think you misunderstood what she was saying. It isn't so much you purchasing a gun or ammo with a credit card but when someone suddenly buys hundreds or thousands of rounds and makes huge investments in firearms using a credit card like the Las Vegas shooter did. That doesn't make her an enemy of liberty in fact she fights very hard to protect liberties. Even the ones you don't seem fond of like equality for people of different sexes.

ace10

I'm not misunderstanding ANYTHING. It is you who don't understand what is at stake with these proposals.

amerigirl

ace, if you make those accusations then you should explain. Banks are already required to report suspicious activity that could be related to a crime such as fraud.A financial institution is required to file a suspicious activity report no later than 30 calendar days after the date of initial detection of facts that may constitute a basis for filing a suspicious activity report, it is called a SAR. The goal of SAR filings is to help the government identify individuals, groups and organizations involved in fraud like terrorist financing, money laundering, and other crimes.

Jeanne T

You're naive.

Jeanne T

"It isn't so much you purchasing a gun or ammo with a credit card but when someone suddenly buys hundreds or thousands of rounds and makes huge investments in firearms using a credit"

I didn't see the word "suddenly" in her proposal.

amerigirl

Jeanne, that is an example of "reporting suspicious or illegal financial activity related to firearms."

Chris McHale

And let the over reaching begin.

DavisB

apparently the overreaction and whining has already begun

Chris McHale

The overreaction began sometime before the recent elections.

amerigirl

If banks must report suspicious activity concerning money laundering, terrorist financing or other criminal activities why not report if someone is stockpiling guns and ammo?

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