Apple, Facebook, Amazon, and Google all skipped signing a letter from 145 CEOs urging the Senate to take action on gun control
Associated Press/Carolyn Kaster
- A letter urging gun control regulation was published on Thursday by the CEOs of 145 major companies, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi.
- The letter was co-signed by all 145 CEOs, and directed at the Senate. "Doing nothing about America's gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety," the letter says.
- Notably missing from the group were tech's biggest companies, including Apple, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft.
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Chief executives from 145 major US companies, including Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, sent a letter to Senate leaders on Thursday urging the lawmakers to support "common sense gun laws."
The letter was attributed to some of America's biggest companies, including Levi Strauss and Gap, but there were some particularly notable absences: Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Amazon.
According to a report in the New York Times, executives at both Google and Facebook debated whether to join the group - and ultimately declined.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly "decided that activism on this issue would only intensify the spotlight" on his company, and Google executives felt similarly.
Though Apple CEO Tim Cook has been outspoken on gun control legislation publicly, he didn't sign the letter on behalf of Apple.
Neither Amazon nor Microsoft signed the letter.
According to the New York Times report, some executives who didn't sign the letter were concerned "whether taking such a stance would lead to in-store confrontations with angry customers carrying guns."
Representatives for Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon didn't respond to Business Insider's requests for comment as of publishing.
The text of the letter specifically pushes the Senate to pass legislation, "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." Moreover, it frames the letter around the business interests of the companies that signed.
"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 says.
You can read the full letter right here:
Dear Members of the Senate:
Our hearts are with the victims, their families and loved ones and all those affected by the tragic shootings in El Paso and West Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. These families became members of a club that no one wants to join: the millions of Americans whose lives have been forever altered by gun violence.
Every day, 100 Americans are shot and killed and hundreds more are wounded. These are more than mass shootings; in recent weeks, gun violence has devastated Chicago, Canoga Park, Newport News, Gilroy and Brooklyn, among others. 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. Doing nothing about America's gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety.
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.
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.
Background checks and Extreme Risk laws (also referred to as "Red Flag laws") are proven to save lives. Since Congress established the background check system 25 years ago, background checks have blocked more than 3.5 million gun sales to prohibited purchasers, including to convicted felons, domestic abusers, and people who have been involuntarily committed.
However, in the decades since, the law requiring background checks on gun sales has not been updated to reflect how people buy guns today. The Senate must follow the House's lead by passing bipartisan legislation that would update the background checks law, helping to keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn't have them, in an effort to save lives. Background checks on all gun sales are a common-sense solution with overwhelming public support and are a critical step toward stemming the gun violence epidemic in this country .
Perpetrators of mass shootings, school shootings, and hate crimes often display warning signs before committing violent acts. Additionally, people who end their life with a gun also often show signs that they are in crisis before they act. Interventions in states with Extreme Risk laws have already prevented potential tragedies. Expanding Extreme Risk laws to enable families and law enforcement nationwide to intervene when someone is at serious risk of hurting themselves or others is critical to preventing future tragedies.
These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan and widely supported by the American public. It is time for the Senate to take action.
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I'm heartbroken about what's happening in my country. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. It's time for good people with different views to stop finger pointing and come together to address this violence for the good of our country.- Tim Cook (@tim_cook) August 4, 2019