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‘Doing nothing is unacceptable:’ 145 CEOs signed letter demanding action on gun violence

El Paso mass shooting

WASHINGTON, D.C. — More than 100 business leaders signed a letter demanding the United States government take action on gun violence.

The plea from the 145 CEOs, following the recent rash of mass shootings, was among Corporate America’s strongest statements yet against America’s gun violence epidemic.

In a draft letter addressed to the United States Senate, the leaders demanded that lawmakers “support common-sense gun laws” already passed by the House, and that “doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable.” It was first obtained by the New York Times.

The group pushed senators to pass a bill that requires background checks on all gun sales and red flag laws. The latter enables those who have seen warning signs (aka red flags) to seek a court order to intervene, and temporarily prevent someone who is in crisis from having access to a firearm. That is a policy that President Donald Trump has supported, however, his plan on gun policy remained unclear.

The business leaders called the proposals outlined in their letter “bipartisan” and “widely supported by the American public.”

The group primarily included CEOs from tech, media, and startups. Major names on the list included Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky, Lyft cofounders Logan Green and John Zimmer, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh, and Thrive Global founder Arianna Huffington.

Two notable names with connections to Washington, D.C. also signed the letter, including Thrive Capital founder Joshua Kushner, according to the Times. He is the brother of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Steve Pagliuca, the co-chairmen of Bain Capital, which was founded by Senator Mitt Romney, also signed it.

Other well-known names were missing, including the CEOs from Apple, Google, Facebook, and major banking firms that cut ties with gun makers. For example, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon didn’t sign it. He previously told CNN Business that government officials need to “try to improve the framework we all operate in,” because gun control is an issue that private businesses can’t fix.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon also wasn’t on the list. His company recently decided to reduce gun and ammunition sales.

Representatives from Everytown for Gun Safety and Moms Demand Action “applauded” the letter in a statement.

“This diverse coalition of leading companies knows what consumers want and, for the first time, is using its combined clout and knowledge to push for common sense gun safety legislation,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety in the release. “This unified corporate action represents a sea change in American culture. The experts on America’s consumers are speaking, and our elected officials should listen.”

Calls for gun control grew louder after two mass shootings in August within 24 hours. A gunman killed 22 people and wounded 24 others in a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Hours later, a man killed nine people in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio.

The letter also cited Chicago and Brooklyn, two communities where pockets suffer from gun violence.

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