3 Companies Working to End Gun Violence
When we want to make change, we rightfully look to government. But we shouldn’t forget about the power of the private sector to make a meaningful impact. In the past year, the business community made unprecedented commitments to gun safety that reflect Americans’ growing demand for commonsense gun safety measures.
From retailers to grocery stores to major banks, a long list of some of America’s most well-known brands cut ties with the NRA and took action to help solve our nation’s gun violence epidemic. As the year comes to a close, we wanted to highlight three companies in particular that have been at the forefront of this important trend.
1. Dick’s Sporting Goods
Two weeks after the Parkland shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods stepped up to the plate in a big way. Dick’s announced it would no longer carry military-style assault rifles and that it would not sell firearms to anyone under 21. In 2019, Dick’s went a step further: taking guns and ammunition off the shelves of 125 of its stores. All this matters for two reasons. First, these changes aren’t just for show—they’ll make a real difference in keeping deadly weapons out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. And second, when you’re one of the nation’s largest retailers of sports and outdoor gear, people notice a move like this. The decision also seems to be paying off, as the retailer posted its best sales quarter in six years.
2. Levi Strauss & Co.
Levi’s is iconically American and one of the most recognizable brands in the world. What they say and do matters. In September of 2018, the company announced it would commit $1 million through its Safer Tomorrow Fund “to fuel the work of nonprofits and youth activists who are working to end gun violence in America,” including Giffords. This year, the company got involved in our Courage Fellowship program, supporting our work amplifying and developing young activists in the fight to end gun violence. Levi’s is also convening other businesses around the issue, offering their employees paid volunteer hours, and matching employee donations to gun violence prevention organizations.
3. TOMS Shoes
After the shooting at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, Blake Mycoskie knew he had to do something. Blake is the founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes, the footwear company famous for giving a pair of shoes for every pair they sell. In late November of 2018, TOMS committed $5 million to support gun violence prevention groups, including Giffords, and launched the End Gun Violence Together campaign. TOMS also gave Americans a way to act—turning their website into an advocacy tool that let users could send a postcard to their representative urging them to support universal background checks. TOMS later delivered more than 700,000 postcards directly to lawmakers’ offices in Washington, DC.
We’re grateful to TOMS, Levi’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods for their leadership and partnership in the work to make our communities safer. As you wrap up your holiday shopping this year, don’t forget about these three companies and their commitment to a safer America.
Want to learn more about how the private sector is standing up to the NRA and supporting gun safety? Check out some of the stories from this year:
New York Times: Walmart and Dick’s Raise Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21
Wall Street Journal: BlackRock, a Shareholder in Gun Makers, Ramps Up Pressure on Gun Industry