Nearly 150 businesses sign letter to Senate urging gun control action

Sept. 12 (UPI) — Nearly 150 U.S. companies have signed and sent a letter to the U.S. Senate, urging the chamber to act on gun control legislation that requires tougher background checks on all gun sales and imposes strong “red flag” laws.

The CEOs of dozens of large and small businesses signed the letter — including Uber, Lyft, Twitter, Bloomberg, Yelp, Airbnb and Royal Caribbean Cruises.

“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable,” the joint letter states. “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 was first reported Thursday by The New York Times.

“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,” it added.

The business coalition called on senators to take up bipartisan legislation already passed by the House that would update background check laws.

“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,” the letter states.

Tuesday, the House judiciary committee advanced new laws to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines and increase “red flag” laws that prevent high-risk individuals from having guns.

The high-capacity magazine bill would limit clips to 10 rounds or less. The red flag law would allow family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to temporarily seize guns from a person who represents a threat. Another measure would prohibit persons convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing firearms.

“I know the pain of losing a child to gun violence,” said Georgia Rep. Lucy McBath, whose son was shot dead in 2012. “And not anyone in this room, anyone in this country, should ever be faced with that pain. Inaction is unacceptable. And today we are acting to help those cities in crisis.”

Florida Rep. Ted Deutch represents the district where 17 people died in a shooting attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland in 2018. The shooter fired 150 rounds in six minutes.

“If this gunman was limited to ten-round magazines, some of those students may have survived that horrible day,” Deutch said. “We need to act today so that we don’t keep breaking the record for the next worst mass shooting in American history.”

Walmart, the site of a shooting attack in El Paso, Texas, last month was not among the signatories but recently agreed to stop selling certain types of ammunition and barred the “open carry” of firearms in their stores nationwide.

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