The heads of 145 companies called on the Senate to expand background checks to all gun purchases and strengthen “red flag” laws in a letter first published by The New York Times.
“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety,” said the letter, which was signed by the CEOs of companies like Twitter, Levi Strauss, and Uber.
The letter urges Republican leaders to take up bills already passed by the Democratic-led House of Representatives.
“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it's preventable,” the letter said. “There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence. We need our lawmakers to support common sense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like these. That s why we urge the Senate to stand with the American public and take action on gun safety by passing a bill to require background checks on all gun sales and a strong Red Flag law that would allow courts to issue life-saving extreme risk protection orders.”
Background checks and red flag laws proven to save lives, CEOs say:
“Background checks and Extreme Risk laws (also referred to as "Red Flag laws") are proven to save lives,” the letter said. “Since Congress established the background check system 25 years ago, background checks have blocked more than 3. 5 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers, including to convicted felons, domestic abusers, and people who have been involuntarily committed. However, in the decades since, the law requiring background checks on gun sales has not been updated to reflect how people buy guns today.”
The executives who signed the letter include the CEOs of Airbnb, Bloomberg, DoorDash, Gap, Pinterest, Postmates, Reddit, Yelp, Bain Capital, Beyond Meat, Conde Nast, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and Lyft.
Businesses stand up on gun control:
“To a certain extent, these C.E.O.s are putting their businesses on the line here, given how politically charged this is,” Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh told The New York Times after urging many of his peers to sign on to the letter. “Business leaders are not afraid to get engaged now. C.E.O.s are wired to take action on things that are going to impact their business and gun violence is impacting everybody’s business now.”
“This has been spun by the N.R.A. as we’re trying to repeal the Second Amendment,” he added. “Nothing is further from the truth.”
Notably absent from the letter were the CEOs of Facebook, Google, and large banks.