Business leaders from around the country signed a letter this week urging Congress to pass new gun-control legislation.
“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable. There are steps Congress can, and must, take to prevent and reduce gun violence. We need our lawmakers to support common- sense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like these,” the letter reads.
“That’s why we urge the Senate to stand with the American public and take action on gun safety by passing 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,” it continues.
The letter, embedded below, was signed by 145 bosses from companies including: Airbnb, Amalgamated Bank, Bloomberg LP, Brookfield Property Group, Condé Nast, DICK’S Sporting Goods, DoorDash, Gap Inc., Levi Strauss & Co., Lyft, Pinterest, Postmates, Royal Caribbean, RXR Realty, Square, TOMS, Twitter, Uber, and Yelp.
This call to action earned praise from Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, the anti-gun group funded by former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.
“As a former corporate executive, I can say with certainty that these business leaders would not sign onto this letter unless they were confident that their customers were with them,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action.
“This letter, along with the recent announcements from corporations like Walmart and CVS to prohibit open carry in stores, proves that acting on gun safety isn’t just the right thing to do — it’s good for business. If this many major brands can act, surely the Senate can, too,” Watts added.
Perhaps the most important name on the letter is Joshua Kushner, the brother of Jared Kushner who happens to be President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser. Maybe that familial connection will have the most influence on the president when his administration signs off on its own proposal to address gun-related violence, which is expected in the coming days, maybe even before the weekend.
Because, remember, as much as the letter calls on the Senate to “take action,” Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has already stated that he is going to wait on the president’s plan before any gun-control bills are brought up for debate on the Senate floor, as GunsAmerica previously reported.
Trump apparently spoke to Sens. Pat Toomey (R-PA), Chris Murphy (D-CT) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) on Wednesday and was “very engaged, personally asking thoughtful questions, asking reasonable questions,” about various proposals, but didn’t give a thumbs up or thumbs down on any particular bill.
“We’ll know hopefully by tomorrow if there’s something, we can agree on, and once we agree on something we’re going to hold to it and fight for it,” Manchin told Politico Wednesday. Trump “can support something we all can agree on is what I took out of it.”
“We’re getting to the witching hour and we’ll know soon within the next day or two about whether the White House is willing to put a substantive background checks bill on the table,” Murphy said, adding that he is still “less than 50/50 [on whether the president will endorse universal background checks], because I know the president has a lot of people calling the opposite direction from us.”
The takeaway: Maybe this letter will influence what the president includes in his plan, maybe it won’t. Only time will tell.