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Business Leaders to Call on Congress to Act on Gun Violence

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In addition to the expanded background checks, they are pressing the government to let federal courts issue temporary orders keeping guns out of the hands of people considered at risk of violence, under what is known as a red-flag law.

A week ago, Walmart, the largest retailer and employer in the country, wrote its own letter to Congress, pushing for a debate over reauthorizing an assault weapons ban. It also announced that it was removing certain ammunition and guns from its shelves and would discourage “open carry” in its stores. Other retailers followed suit by changing their open-carry policies, including Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and the Wegmans grocery chain.

The letter signers on Thursday include the leaders of Airbnb, the Gap, Pinterest, Lyft, the Brookfield Property Group and Royal Caribbean.

Missing from the list, however, are some of America’s biggest financial and technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, some of which debated internally whether to sign the letter.

Two companies that signed may raise eyebrows in Washington: Thrive Capital, whose founder, Joshua Kushner, is the brother of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, and Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah.

The letter is the latest example of the business community’s stepping into a sensitive political area — sometimes reluctantly — during the Trump presidency. Business leaders have criticized Mr. Trump’s immigration policy and his response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. On guns, the president has on several occasions offered support for stronger firearms policies before stepping away.

Some of the letter signers plan to lobby lawmakers in Washington, but it is unclear how much money, if any, the companies may devote to this issue.



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