With Congress now back in session after an August recess, the CEOs of 145 companies sent a letter to Senate leaders urging them to take action on gun background checks and “red flag” legislation. The push for more aggressive gun reforms comes in the wake of recent shootings in Texas and Ohio.
“As leaders of some of America’s most respected companies and those with significant business interests in the United States, we are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country. Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety,” the business leaders wrote.
The letter includes support from major companies like Conde Nast, Dicks Sporting Goods, AirBnB, Postmates and Bain Capital among others. Executives from social media companies including Twitter and Reddit also signed the letter.
In their appeal to Capitol Hill, the CEOs implored the Senate to follow the House’s lead by passing legislation that would update the nation’s background checks database in an effort to help “keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them.”
“Background checks on all gun sales are a common-sense solution with overwhelming public support and are a critical step toward stemming the gun violence epidemic in this country,” they wrote.
The bipartisan bill, HR-8, would require background checks for private gun sales — including those from gun shows and made over the internet — and would close loopholes for certain kinds of gun sales. A Senate vote on such legislation, however, has yet to be formally scheduled. The Democratic-controlled House passed the bill back in February in a 240-190 vote, with eight Republicans and all but two Democrats supporting it.
Business leaders also lent their support to expanding Extreme Risk Protection laws or “red flag” laws to allow families and local law enforcement to intervene via a court order when someone is deemed a serious risk of hurting themselves or others when having access to guns.
“These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan and widely supported by the American public. It is time for the Senate to take action,” the CEO’s added.
While there has been little tangible movement on a legislative fix for gun reforms, some of the businesses that have signed on to the letter have taken gun control into their own hands — by removing access to guns in their respective stores or cutting ties to the gun lobby to reduce the influence it has on the retail industry as a whole.