“Dear Moscow Mitch”: Corporate Leaders Have a Just a Few Thoughts to Share

September 12, 2019

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.

Sincerely,

Organizations with more than 500 employees: 

Brian Chesky, Co-Founder, Head of Community and CEO, Airbnb Keith Mestrich, President and CEO, Amalgamated Bank

John Connaughton and Jonathan Lavine, Co-Managing Partners, and Josh Bekenstein and Steve Pagliuca, Co-Chairmen, Bain Capital

Ethan Brown, Co-Founder and CEO, Beyond Meat Peter T. Grauer, Chairman, Bloomberg LP

Ric Clark, Chairman, Brookfield Property Group Fritz Lanman, CEO, ClassPass

Roger Lynch, CEO, Condé Nast

Ken Lin, Founder and CEO, Credit Karma Edward Stack, CEO, DICK’S Sporting Goods Tony Xu, Co-Founder and CEO, DoorDash Doug Baker, Chairman and CEO, Ecolab Richard Edelman, President and CEO, Edelman Julia Hartz, Co-Founder and CEO, Eventbrite Art Peck, CEO, Gap Inc.

Eddy Lu, CEO, Goat Group

Ben Lerer, Co-Founder and CEO, Group Nine Media Yannick Bolloré, CEO, Havas Group

Bill Koenigsberg, President, CEO and Founder, Horizon Media Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD, Founder and CEO, Impossible Foods Michael Roth, Chairman and CEO, Interpublic

Rob Frohwein, Co-Founder and CEO, and Kathryn Petralia, Co-Founder and President, Kabbage Inc. and Drum Technologies

Chip Bergh, President and CEO, Levi Strauss & Co.

Logan Green, Co-Founder and CEO, and John Zimmer, Co-Founder and President, Lyft Dev Ittycheria, President and CEO, MongoDB, Inc.

Howard Marks, Co-Chairman, Oaktree Capital Management Todd McKinnon, Co-Founder and CEO, Okta

John Wren, Chairman and CEO, Omnicom Group Ben Silbermann, Co-Founder and CEO, Pinterest Bastian Lehmann, Co-Founder & CEO, Postmates Hamid R. Moghadam, Chairman and CEO, Prologis Arthur Sadoun, Chairman and CEO, Publicis Groupe Steve Huffman, CEO, Reddit

Richard Fain, CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

Scott Rechler, Chairman and CEO, RXR Realty Jon Oringer, Founder and CEO, Shutterstock, Inc. Jack Dorsey, CEO, Square and Twitter

Anthony Casalena, Founder and CEO, Squarespace Zander Lurie, CEO, SurveyMonkey

Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO, Thrive Global

Blake Mycoskie, Founder and Chief Shoe Giver, and Jim Alling, CEO, TOMS Jeff Lawson, Co-Founder and CEO, Twilio

Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO, Uber Mark Read, CEO, WPP

Jeremy Stoppelman, Co-Founder and CEO, Yelp

Organizations with fewer than 500employees: 

Kevin P. Ryan, Founder and CEO, AlleyCorp Travis Truett, Co-Founder and CEO,Ambition

John W. Rogers, Jr., Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO, and Mellody Hobson, Co-CEO & President, Ariel Investments, LLC

Mike Steib, CEO, Artsy

Sean Knapp, Co-Founder and CEO, Ascend.io Andrei Cherny, Co-Founder and CEO, Aspiration Abdur Chowdhury, CEO, Aura

Fahim M. Aziz, Founder and CEO, Backpack

JJ Abrams, Chairman and Co-CEO, and Katie McGrath, Co-CEO, Bad Robot Ari Paparo, CEO, BeeswaxIO Corporation

Ryan Block, Co-Founder, Begin

John Borthwick, Founder and CEO, Betaworks

Raphael Crawford-Marks, Co-Founder and CEO, Bonusly Darren Lachtman, Co-Founder, Brat

Trevor McFedries, CEO, Brud Sameer Shariff, Co-Founder,Cambly

Analisa Goodin, Founder and CEO, Catch&Release, Inc. Andrew Feldman, Founder and CEO, Cerebras Systems George Favvas, CEO, CircleMedical

Alex MacCaw, CEO, Clearbit Tyler Bosmeny, CEO, Clever

Matt Martin, Co-Founder and CEO, Clockwise

Othman Laraki, Co-Founder and CEO, Color Genomics Jager McConnell, CEO, Crunchbase, Inc.

Apu Gupta, Co-Founder and CEO, Curalate, Inc. David Oates, Co-Founder and CEO, Curtsy Brian Ree, Founder and CEO, DAILYLOOK

Saurabh Ladha, CEO, Doxel, Inc.

Andy Coravos, Co-Founder and CEO, Elektra Labs Laurene Powell Jobs, President, Emerson Collective Pradeep Elankumaran, Co-Founder & CEO, Farmstead Desiree Gruber, CEO, Full Picture

Jared Hecht, Founder and CEO, Fundera Jude Gomila, Founder and CEO, Golden Rick Nucci, Co-Founder and CEO, Guru Kara Goldin, Founder and CEO, Hint, Inc. Jeff Sellinger, Co-Founder and CEO, HipDot Prerna Gupta, CEO,Hooked

Cyrus Massoumi, Managing Partner, humbition Kristin Savilia, CEO,JOOR

Pierre Valade, CEO, Jumbo Privacy

William Martino, Founder and CEO, Kadena Jake Perlman-Garr, CEO, Kanga

Warren Shaeffer, Co-Founder and CEO, Knowable Jack Altman, CEO, Lattice

Aaron N. Block, Co-Founder and Managing Director, MetaProp.vc Afton Vechery, Co-Founder and CEO, Modern Fertility

Dan Parham, Founder and CEO, and Tee Parham, Founder and CTO, Neighborland Shafqat Islam, CEO, NewsCred

Sarah Friar, CEO, Nextdoor

Athan Stephanopoulos, President, NowThis Varsha Rao, CEO, Nurx

William E. Oberndorf, Chairman, Oberndorf Enterprises Steven Rosenblatt, Co-Founder and General Partner, Oceans Nick Huzar, Co-Founder and CEO, OfferUp

James Segil, Co-Founder and President, Openpath Jordan Husney, CEO, Parabol

Doug Aley, CEO, Paravision

John Milinovich, CEO, Plato Design Rajat Suri, CEO, Presto

Christopher Gavigan, Founder and CEO, Prima Adam Regelmann, Founder and COO, Quartzy

Nate Maslak, Co-Founder and CEO, and Nate Fox, Co-Founder and CTO, Ribbon Health Zachariah Reitano, Co-Founder and CEO, Ro

Gary Beasley, Co-Founder and CEO, Roofstock Stephen Ehikian, Co-Founder and CEO, Ruist Brian Schechter, CEO, SelfMade

Olga Vidisheva, Founder and CEO, Shoptiques Inc. Dan Doctoroff, CEO, Sidewalk Labs

Jason Tan, CEO, Sift

Matt Cooper, CEO, Skillshare Grant Jordan, CEO, SkySafe

Josh Guttman, Co-Founder and CEO and Florent Peyre, Co-Founder and President, Small Door Michael Carvin, Co-Founder and CEO, SmartAsset

Aaron King, Founder and CEO, Snapdocs, Inc. Neil Capel, CEO, Solve.io

Ben Hindman, Co-Founder and CEO, Splash Evan Beard, Founder and CEO, Standard Bots

Stanlee R. Gatti, Founder, Stanlee R. Gatti Designs Bradford Oberwager, CEO, Sundia Corporation Ross Feinstein, CEO, Sunlight Health

Paul Budnitz, CEO, Superplastic Ron Conway, Founder, SV Angel

Heidi Zak, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, and David Spector, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, ThirdLove Yashar Nejati, CEO, thisopenspace inc.

Joshua Kushner, Founder and Managing Partner, Thrive Capital Chris Wang, CEO, ThunderCore Inc.

Corbett Kull, CEO, Tillable

Meghan Jewitt, CEO, Uniform Teeth

Nicholas Goldner, Co-Founder and CEO, and Christopher Bulow, Co-Founder and COO, Viosera Therapeutics

Ken Chong, CEO, Virtual Kitchen Co Irv Remedios, CEO, Voxer

Oliver Cameron, Co-Founder and CEO, Voyage

Chase Adam, Co-Founder and CEO, and Grace Garey, Co-Founder and COO, Watsi Liz Wessel, Co-Founder and CEO, WayUp

Neil Waller, CEO, Whalar Bismarck Lepe, CEO, Wizeline

Dennis R. Mortensen, Founder and CEO, x.ai, inc. Geoff Ralston, President, Y Combinator

Shan-Lyn Ma, Co-Founder and CEO, Zola