Over the last several decades, Americans across the nation have become increasingly affected by the toll of gun violence in our schools, places of worship, and in retail stores, restaurants and other public spaces. In August 2019, 22 people were killed and many more injured during a shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. At a Chick-fil-A restaurant in Macon, Georgia, one person was shot and killed on Labor Day 2018. Still others have been killed or injured as the result of gun violence at Ace Hardware, McDonald’s, and Whole Foods. Shoppers and diners throughout the nation have the potential to be affected by gun violence at any given time.
Due to the frequency of mass shootings in these places of business, Guns Down America, in partnership with People for the American Way and several other national advocacy groups, has launched the Business Must Act campaign to encourage retail stores and restaurants to take steps to protect their employees and patrons from gun violence.
To help consumers make educated decisions this holiday season, the Business Must Act campaign created a Gun Safety Scorecard, ranking 29 individual businesses on their actions to prevent gun violence. Rankings are assigned based on a combination of variables: whether the business has a policy preventing the on-site carrying of firearms, the amount of money the business donates to lawmakers who accept donations from the National Rifle Association (NRA), whether the business has moved to support or demand action on gun reform policies, and whether the business has taken any additional action to prevent gun violence.
As an example, Starbucks received a B on the Gun Safety Scorecard because the company requests that patrons not carry guns on their premises and does not donate to lawmakers who receive funding from the NRA. Lowe’s, however, received a failing score because the company has not implemented an in-store gun policy, donates over $100,000 to lawmakers supported by the NRA, and has demanded no action on gun reform. In addition to sharing the report card, the campaign encourages customers to urge companies they frequent to create policies that promote safety and decrease the potential for gun violence.
Read more and watch a short video about the campaign at https://businessmustact.org.