'Square Reader' Credit Card Processor Bans Gun Sales, Purchases

| by Michael Allen

The Square Reader is a portable credit card processor that attaches to a smartphone and is used by numerous types of businesses, from taxi cab drivers to building contractors.

The Square Reader bills itself as the “small credit card reader" with "big possibilities,” which do not include buying or selling guns.

According to, the U.S. Department of Justice’s "Operation Choke Point" has been applying pressure to banks and credit card merchants not to service people who buy or sell guns, bullets, tobacco and other objectionable goods such as porn. reports that pressure has now reached Square Inc., which recently told its vendors in an updated Square Seller Agreement: "You will not accept payments in connection with the following businesses or business activities… sales of (i) firearms, firearm parts or hardware, and ammunition; or (ii) weapons and other devices designed to cause physical injury."

This means that Square Reader cannot be used by gun sellers at brick-and-mortar stores, online or at gun shows. Nor may it be used by someone trying to buy guns.

Square Reader is not the only high-tech merchant service that won't process gun sales, PayPal doesn't allow transactions that include: "ammunition, firearms, or certain firearm parts or accessories."

Sources:,,, PayPal