Scores of executives from some of the nation’s biggest business demanded “urgent action” from lawmakers on “America’s gun violence crisis,” writing in a letter that the tragedies are “preventable.”
Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Yelp CEO and co-founder Jeremy Stoppelman and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey were among the 145 business leaders who signed the open letter to the Senate that was first reported by The New York Times.
The letter references the recent back-to-back mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that left more than 30 people dead within just hours. In addition to the harrowing mass shootings, it also references the gun violence that has afflicted communities in Chicago, Gilroy, and more, saying, “This is a public health crisis that demands urgent action.”
“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,” the letter said.
It continued: “Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety.”
In terms of action, the correspondence called on the Senate to “pass a bill to require background checks on all gun sales and a strong Red Flag law that would allow courts to issue life-saving extreme risk protection orders.”
So-called Red Flag laws, more commonly known as Extreme Risk laws, help prohibit people who have shown a risk of harming themselves or others from having access to a firearm.
This isn’t the first time leaders from the private sector have taken a stance on gun violence.
After a string of deadly shootings occurred at Walmart stores between July 30 and Aug. 4, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon announced that the company would discontinue sales of some types of rifle ammunition which can be used with military-style weapons. Walmart will also discontinue handgun ammunition as well as sales of handguns in Alaska.
In the wake of the 2018 Valentine’s Day massacre at a high school in Parkland, Florida, the chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, who also signed Thursday’s open letter, announced that his company was ending sales of assault-style rifles and banning the sale of guns to people under 21. Dick’s Sporting Goods also announced it would be destroying inventory of unsold assault-style weapons.