Visa will continue to facilitate gun purchases as long as it is legal for people to buy firearms, the chief executive of the credit card giant told CNBC on Wednesday.
“We are guided by the federal laws in a country, and our job is to create and to facilitate fair and secure commerce,” said Visa Chairman and CEO Alfred Kelly, the latest corporate leader to address the issue of gun control after the deadly weekend mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.
Payment companies PayPal and Square do not allow their services to be used for gun sales.
Kelly said it is the legislators who “need to do their job,” and Visa’s stance as a payment processor for gun purchases hasn’t changed over the past year.
“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.”
The company will continue to “follow the laws of the land,” he added.
“We shouldn’t tell people they can’t purchase a 32-ounce soda. We shouldn’t tell people they can’t buy reproductive drugs,” Kelly said.
Kelly is not the only credit card company CEO to voice the challenges of regulating gun purchases.
Ajay Banga, CEO of Mastercard, said it is not his company’s place to dictate what consumers can and cannot buy, according to a Bloomberg article. Banga does not think personal beliefs should guide how he operates his company’s networks.
Meanwhile, Alan Patricof, founder of venture capital firm Greycroft, spoke out earlier this week in favor of tighter gun control laws. He told CNBC that more company leaders need to “come out and massively say, ‘We’ve got to do something about this.'”
Another CEO speaking out is Apple’s Tim Cook. He tweeted that he’s “heartbroken” over the shootings that happened in El Paso and Dayton last weekend.
While Visa will continue to allow its customers to buy and sell guns, Kelly called out policymakers.
“They ought to get busy on some common sense changes to deal with the horrific problems that we’ve seen in the United States, not just this weekend but for years and years,” he said. “It’s time to start looking at mental health, the size of these magazines, the type of weapons. They’ve got to do something.”