The horrifying act of violence in Allen, Texas served as a grim reminder that Americans across the country put their lives at risk by simply shopping in a public place.
While we wait for our lawmakers to act, all of us must do our part to help build a future with fewer guns and safer communities – and that includes corporate America.
Our nation has incredibly loose and permissive gun laws. 26 states now allow the open carry of firearms in public. The Allen gunman purchased the majority of his guns from private sellers who are not required to run background checks in most states. Federal law only requires that licensed gun dealers perform background checks.
Given this reality, we are asking businesses to use their tremendous market leverage and clout to protect their customers, employees, and the communities they serve each and every day. Specifically, we are urging businesses to take the following actions:
- Invest in the communities they serve and support by funding evidence-based community violence intervention programs that have been proven to reduce retaliatory cycles of gun violence that take place every day in America.
- Stop making political contributions to lawmakers who receive donations from the NRA, as these officials are putting all of our lives at risk by refusing to even consider legislation that would make firearms harder to get.
- Urge state and federal lawmakers to prioritize gun violence prevention legislation that would restrict the public carry of firearms, raise the age to buy assault weapons, and expand background checks to all firearm purchases.
Given the immense influence these large corporations have in our political discourse, these actions could send a ripple effect through our political system and force our elected officials to act. An overwhelming majority of Americans support these policies – including the employees and customers that make these businesses profitable.
This is a unique opportunity for corporate America to do the right thing and fight for public safety.