Chief executives at 228 American firms co-signed a letter on Thursday urging members of the U.S. Senate to take “daring, urgent motion” to pass laws aimed toward reducing gun violence in America.
The CEOs who signed the letter represent firms each large and small across a wide selection of industries, including some highly recognizable names:
- Consumer goods: Unilever United States, Levi Strauss & Co., Dick’s Sporting Goods, Patagonia, Lululemon Athletica
- Finance: Bain Capital, Credit Karma, Intuit, Kabbage, NerdWallet
- Tech: Lyft, Bumble, DoorDash, Logitech, Poshmark, Yelp
- Media: Bloomberg, Conde Nast, Yahoo
- Sports: Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Guardians, San Francisco Giants, San Francisco 49ers
The letter, posted to the web site CEOsForGunSafety.org, points to recent gun violence tragedies at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, and a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, Recent York, alongside the dozens of other mass shootings which have occurred within the U.S. — just since those massacres unfolded in May.
“Taken together, the gun violence epidemic represents a public health crisis that continues to devastate communities – especially Black and Brown communities – and harm our national economy,” the letter reads. “All of this points to a transparent need for motion: the Senate must take urgent motion to pass daring gun safety laws as soon as possible in an effort to avoid more death and injury.”
The CEOs cite statistics compiled by gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety: greater than 110 individuals are shot and killed within the U.S. every day, on average, while one other 200 are shot and wounded. The letter also cites Everytown’s estimate that the results of gun violence, including costs related to medical care and victims’ lost earnings, cost the country greater than $280 billion annually – with U.S. employers losing $1.4 million each day in productivity and revenue.
The letter doesn’t offer any specific policy solutions — although Levi Straus CEO Chip Bergh, considered one of the letter’s key organizers, has previously expressed support for universal background checks on all gun purchases and national red flag gun laws. Relatively, the letter calls on federal lawmakers to “transcend partisanship and work together to pass daring laws to deal with gun violence in our country.”
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a sweeping gun bill called the Protecting Our Kids Act, that may raise the federal minimum age for purchasing an assault rifle from 18 to 21, while also banning the sale of large-capacity magazines and implementing latest rules around secure at-home gun storage.
The bill passed on a mostly party line vote within the Democratic-held House. It isn’t expected to survive within the Senate, where Republicans can easily block the bill with a filibuster. A small group of Senators, led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX), are currently negotiating a possible bipartisan agreement on measures like background checks, red flag laws and funding for mental health and college safety initiatives.
“We aren’t distant,” Murphy told reporters after the group met on Thursday. “But we aren’t there yet.”
In 2019, CEOs for Gun Safety published the same letter to Senate leaders, featuring the signatures of 145 executives, saying that “doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is just unacceptable.” This yr’s version features dozens more signatories, and includes an “Add Your Company” link inviting more business leaders so as to add their signatures going forward.
Enroll now: Get smarter about your money and profession with our weekly newsletter
How the March For Our Lives Gen Z organizers modified the gun control conversation
How the CEO of Planned Parenthood is preparing for a future without Roe v. Wade