WASHINGTON, September 27, 2013 — Hyatt Gun Shop in Charlotte, North Carolina was told this week by its online credit card authorizer, Authorize.net/Cybersource, that it would no longer be doing business.
In an email to Hyatt Gun Shop Inc., Authorize.net stated:
“Authorize.Net LLC (“Authorize.Net”) has determined that the nature of your business constitutes a violation of Section 2.xiv of the Authorize.Net Acceptable Use Guidelines and Sections 3.3 and 11.3 of the Authorize.Net Service Agreement (the “Agreement”). These sections include, but are not limited to, the sale of firearms or any similar product. Accordingly, pursuant to Section 4 of the Acceptable Use Guidelines, your ability to access and use the Authorize.Net Services will be terminated on September 30, 2013.”
This email comes some two weeks after a gunman killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard in Southeast DC. Authorize.net and Hyatt Gun Store inc., have been doing business for over four years, however Authorize.net waited until now to address the issue that Hyatt Gun Store Inc., sells guns, which is against its policy.
This raises a few questions and concerns.
First. The company is called Hyatt Gun Shop. Being surprised that it sells guns is like gasping in amazement when you find out that McGoo’s Beanbag Chairs of the World Emporium sells beanbag chairs from around the world. Hyatt Gun Shop is most likely not a purveyor in fine silk hosiery. The business probably sells guns, it’s just a thought.
Second. Was this policy about not selling firearms written in the original agreement as signed by Authorize.net and Hyatt We Sell Guns That Shoot Inc.? Or have recent national events spurred our friends at Authorize.net to make certain changes in its policy?
Third. Authorize.net/Cybersourse is a subsidiary of Visa, a company in which several of its board members donated a total of over $20,000 to the reelection of Barack Obama in 2012. President Barack Obama does not really agree with the civilian right to own firearms. He is certainly not anti-gun, just anti-gun for everyone but the government. Could political leanings have had something to do with this recent move, perhaps? Well of course Authorize.net’s political affiliation is the most logical and immediately deducible answer.
This still being a capitalist country for a few more years, and of course with Hyatt Guns Inc., being one of the largest gun stores in the nation with online and storefront sales, it has already found a new company to process their online credit sales.
But there is a deeper and more troubling issue at stake here.
It is, for now, the Constitutional right of Americans to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and their homes. This idea was upheld in the Heller Decision. Keeping in mind that this is a free country, and that companies have the right to enforce and adhere to whatever policies they see fit, does that mean that they can ignore a Constitutionally guaranteed item if the purchasing citizen is eligible for the purchase?
The amendment says “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
It does not say shall not be infringed by Congress, or the President, or judges, it says that it shall not be infringed. So does that mean it cannot be infringed by anyone?
Under the Constitution does Authorize.net have the Constitutional right to tell their costumers that their service cannot be used for the purchase of firearms?
What if the credit company for the New York Times or Rolling Stone said it would not process their payments on the basis that their company policy made it clear that it would not take money from companies who believed in free speech? Do you think the national reaction would be different? If Authorize.net has the right to tell a company that it will not do business because it sells firearms, can Authorize also say it doesn’t support your right to free speech either?
Where is the line drawn?
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