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145 business executives push for better gun policy

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Gun rights advocates gather outside the Texas Capitol where Texas Gov. Greg Abbott held a roundtable discussion, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019, in Austin, Texas. Abbott is meeting in Austin with officials from Google, Twitter and Facebook as well as officials from the FBI and state lawmakers to discuss ways of combatting extremism in light of the recent mass shooting in El Paso that reportedly targeted Mexicans.

Eric Gay, Associated Press

A total of 145 business executives sent a letter to the Senate on Thursday, urging the United States government to take action on gun violence. Specifically, the letter called for implementing background checks and stronger red flag laws.

Company executives who signed the letter included those of Airbnb, the Gap, Pinterest, Lyft and the Royal Caribbean, according to The New York Times.

Executives stated in the letter that “doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable” and that “it is time (for the government) to stand with the American public on gun safety.”

According to CNBC, Edward Stack, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, also signed the letter. The sporting goods retailer stopped selling guns in 125 store locations this year and halted the sale of assault-style rifles in all stores after the Parkland shooting in 2018.

Business leaders stated that the proposals outlined in their letter are “bipartisan” and “widely supported by the American public.”

According to CNN, two companies that signed the letter have direct ties to Washington — Thrive Capital, the founder of which is the brother of Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, and Bain Capital, a private equity firm cofounded by Sen. Mitt Romney.

While many large companies in the United States chose to sign the letter, many large financial and tech companies did not, including Apple, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

Both Facebook and Google reportedly debated signing the letter, but ultimately chose not to, choosing business over politics. Both companies decided that their involvement would only intensify the spotlight on themselves.

The House of Representatives passed a law that would strengthen federal background check laws earlier this year, according to CNBC. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he wants direct support from President Donald Trump before the Senate votes on the matter.

“On a serious issue like this, after these horrendous shootings dominating the month of August, at least we could come back with a level of seriousness that underscored that maybe we would like to get an outcome,” McConnell said on Tuesday. “And so we do, in fact, await word from the White House about what the president is willing to sign.”