'Gun violence in America is not inevitable': CEOs of Uber, Twitter and 143 other major companies signed a letter urging the Senate to take action on gun control

dayton mass shooting end gun violence Mourners gather for a vigil at the scene of a mass shooting, Sunday, August 4, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio.AP Photo/John Minchillo

  • Chief executives from 145 US corporations have signed a letter to the Senate urging drastic and urgent action on gun control.
  • The letter, signed by the likes of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Gap boss Art Peck, calls on lawmakers to pass stricter gun laws, saying: "Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it's preventable."
  • "We need our lawmakers to support common sense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like these," it said, referencing shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which left 31 people dead.
  • Among the suggestions made by the CEOs are the introduction of background checks for all gun purchases, and the creation of nationwide "Red Flag" laws.
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145 CEOs, some from some of the most prominent US companies, have signed a letter to the Senate urging drastic and urgent action on gun control in the aftermath of the spate of mass shootings that has swept the country in the last month.

The letter, signed by the likes of Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, and Gap boss Art Peck, calls on lawmakers to take action, saying: "Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it's preventable."

Read more: A gun advocacy group says members were able to bring guns into Walmart even after it asked people to stop openly carrying firearms in stores

"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," it continued, referencing recent shooting in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, which left 31 people dead.

Published first by The New York Times, the letter urges the Senate to pass a bill requiring background checks for all gun sales in the US, as well as the introduction of a "Red Flag law that would allow courts to issue life-saving extreme risk protection orders."

Such laws, the letter says, are "proven to save lives."

The letter is a major intervention from corporate America, and follows moves by large retailers such as Walmart to curb the carrying of weapons in its stores.

Among the most prominent CEOs who signed the letter are:

  • Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber CEO.
  • Jack Dorsey, Twitter and Square CEO.
  • Art Peck, Gap CEO.
  • Brian Chesky, Airbnb CEO.
  • Edward Stacks, Dick's Sporting Goods CEO.
  • Ethan Brown, Beyond Meat CEO.
  • Chip Bergh, Levi Strauss CEO.
  • Steve Huffman, Reddit CEO.
  • Richard Fain, Royal Caribbean Cruises CEO.
  • Jeremey Stoppelman, Yelp CEO.
  • Steve Pagliuca, Co-chairman, Bain Capital.
You can see the letter in its entirety below:

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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