Citi Merchant Services and First Data Corp. are refusing to process any credit card transactions between federally licensed firearms retailers, distributors and manufacturers -- a move which will severely limit available inventory of firearms and ammunition to military, law enforcement and law-abiding Americans.
The first company to be affected by this decision appears to be firearms distributor CDNN Sports Inc.
"We were contacted recently by First Data/Citi Merchant Services by a June Rivera-Mantilla stating that we were terminated and funds were being seized for selling firearms in a non-face-to-face transaction," said Charlie Crawford, president of CDNN Sports Inc. "Although perfectly legal, we were also informed that no transactions would be processed in the future, even for non-firearms. I find this very frightening."
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First Data's reply
Thank you for your message. The posting at www.nssf.org regarding Citi Merchant Services and First Data Corp. is inaccurate. Further, while we generally do not comment on individual merchant customers, we would like to briefly address the 12/26 letter posted on the web site. Regretfully, that letter did a less than satisfactory job of expressing applicable policies. Those policies are more properly detailed below.
Citi Merchant Services and First Data do process firearms transactions. Our policy restrictions address only the sale of firearms in a non face-to-face environment. Non face-to-face transactions occur when a cardholder is not present in front of a merchant and includes mail order and online purchases. It is our policy not to service merchants that make non face-to-face sales in a number of industries, including firearms.
It is not the policy of Citi Merchant Services or First Data to refuse to process transactions from duly licensed merchants that sell firearms in face-to-face transactions at the point of sale.
The posting also incorrectly states that Robert Tenenbaum is the supervisor when, in fact, he is not.