American Businesses are Taking a Stand on Gun Violence
In 2018, we experienced a pivotal year in the movement to end gun violence. Businesses and corporate leaders have taken meaningful action in the interest of keeping customers, employees and communities safe. The following provides a sample of corporate action to date.
U.S. gun sellers are taking steps to protect their communities.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods ended sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores. The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and would require any gun buyer to be at least 21 years of age, regardless of local laws. Dick’s also announced it will remove firearms from 125 stores.
- Walmart, the nation’s largest gun seller, announced that it would not sell any firearm to anyone under 21 years of age. The company also said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles.
- L.L. Bean said it would no longer sell guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21 (note, firearms specific to hunting and target shooting are only sold at its flagship store in Maine).
- Kroger also announced that it will not sell guns at its stores to people under 21.
- REI, which does not sell guns, said it will stop ordering brands owned by Vista Outdoor until Vista Outdoor reconsiders its policies for its firearm brands.
The financial services sector is promoting a culture of gun safety.
- Citibank announced a new U.S. commercial firearms policy that requires retail sector clients or partners to abide by several best practices prohibiting the sale of firearms without a completed background check, high capacity magazines, and firearms to purchasers under the age of 21.
- Bank of America announced it will stop lending money to gun manufacturers that make military-style firearms for civilian use.
- Amalgamated Bank does not lend to or bank for firearms manufacturers or sellers, and has a robust policy on firearms.
- BlackRock took steps to address the issue of firearms companies in index portfolios: engaging with firearms manufacturers and retailers regarding business policies and practices and offering clients a choice of products that exclude the firearms industry.
- State Street Global Advisors and the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), among others in a coalition of institutional and private investors with combined assets of more than $4.83 trillion, came together to create and promote the Principles for a Responsible Civilian Firearms Industry.
- PayPal does not allow the use of its service or logo for selling firearms, certain firearm parts or ammunition.
- Credit card payment handler, Authorize.net (a subsidiary of Visa), cut its relationship with North Carolina-based Hyatt Gun Shop – the self-proclaimed nation’s largest gun store.
Every business can do something to prevent gun violence, and a range of companies have weighed in.
- Facebook limits posts on Facebook and Instagram discussing the sale of firearms to users over 18; warns people promoting the private sale of weapons to comply with relevant laws; and introduced “in-app education” on Instagram for those who search for gun promotions or sales. Facebook also banned users from coordinating private sales of firearms on Facebook and Instagram.
- Levi Strauss & Co. pledged its support for gun violence prevention through establishing The Safer Tomorrow Fund, a fund to direct philanthropic grants to nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America; partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety and executives from the business community; and driving efforts to engage employees.
- TOMS, the shoe company, launched a campaign to end gun violence with a $5 million donation.
- Restaurants and retailers asked customers not to bring firearms into their stores. These include Levi’s, Target, Starbucks, Chipotle, Panera, Jack-in-the-Box, Sonic, and Brinker’s (which owns, operates, and franchises the Chili’s Grill & Bar and Maggiano’s Little Italy restaurants).
Organizations also cut their ties to the NRA.
- First National Bank of Omaha, the country’s largest privately held bank, said it would stop issuing NRA-branded cards.
- Several companies ended their discount partnerships with the NRA. Delta Airlines, United Airlines, FedEx, North American Van Lines and Allied Van Lines, TrueCar, Avis, Hertz, Enterprise, MetLife, Chubb Limited, Symantec, and Best Western and Wyndham Hotels, among others, will no longer be offering discount programs to the NRA.