Unlike other payment processors who have allowed themselves to become politicized, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly has promised not to block purchases of firearms made through the company.

Asked if Visa would continue to facilitate firearms purchases, Kelly told CNBC, “We are guided by the federal laws in a country, and our job is to create and to facilitate fair and secure commerce.”

Adding that Visa would continue to “follow the laws of the land,” Kelly emphasized that private companies should not be dictating what people can or cannot buy, so long as it’s legal.

“The reality is that it’s very hard for us to do it. … If we start to get in the mode of being legislators it’s a very slippery slope,” Kelly said. “We shouldn’t be determining what’s right or wrong in terms of people’s purchases.”

Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, also said that it wasn’t the company’s place to decide what consumers can purchase.

Other payment companies like PayPal and Square have barred the purchase of guns via their platforms.

Kelly’s promise is crucial given that “deplatforming” has now moved on to banks and payment processors, with conservative commentators and activists having their accounts shut down in some cases for having the wrong opinions.


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