TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis on Friday signed bills that push back against the possibility of a federal central-bank digital currency and seek to prevent credit-card companies from tracking firearm and ammunition sales.
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One of the bills (SB 7054) would prevent digital currency issued by the U.S. Federal Reserve or foreign governments from being treated as money under Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code.
President Joe Biden last year signed an executive order directing officials to examine the risks and benefits of cryptocurrencies.
The order also sought recommendations on a central bank digital currency.
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Such a currency would be similar to cryptocurrencies, but it would include differences such as the value being fixed by the Federal Reserve. The Republican-controlled Legislature overwhelmingly passed the bill that DeSantis signed Friday.
DeSantis, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, said the bill is designed to keep the federal government from deciding how people can use their money.
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“They’re going to be able to have the window into what you’re doing with the money and the ability to control where that money is going,” DeSantis said during an event in Fort Myers. “They could block, if you filled up your gas tank too much, hey, they’re fighting global warming, ‘You can’t do anymore.’ Maybe you bought a firearm last week. They don’t want you to buy another one this week.”
The other bill signed Friday (SB 214) will prevent credit-card companies from using a separate “merchant category code” for sales at gun businesses in Florida.
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Similar four-digit codes are already used to separate purchases and collect data from places such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and bookstores.
Last year, Visa, Mastercard and American Express announced plans to categorize gun-shop sales. But after Republican pushback in several states, the plans have been paused.
The new laws will take effect on July 1.
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