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New Public Scorecard Grades Retailers On Gun Safety Policies In Stores During The Holiday Shopping Season

December 4, 2019

New Scorecard Rates 29 National Retailers; Less Than Half of Retailers Have a Policy Preventing Guns in Stores while 25 Experienced an Episode of Gun Violence

WASHINGTON — As we enter the busy retail shopping season, a coalition of advocates, representing millions of Americans, including two fathers who lost children in the Parkland shooting, have partnered with Guns Down America to publish the nation’s first-ever Gun Safety Scorecard for national retailers.

The Gun Safety Scorecard measures retailers’ efforts to keep the public safe from gun violence in three specific categories by assigning a letter gun safety grade to 29 large American businesses. The report card will offer consumers the opportunity to shop their values this holiday season.

The #BusinessMustAct campaign is urging large national retailers to keep their customers and employees safe this holiday season by prohibiting firearms in their stores, ending political donations to NRA-backed lawmakers, and supporting the communities they serve by investing in locally-run gun violence intervention programs.

Businesses with a B or higher are awarded the Gun Safety Certified mark. The mark, developed by Manuel Oliver (father of Joaquin Oliver, one of the 17 victims from the Parkland shooting) of Change The Ref and Stop Handgun Violence, is a symbol for brands and businesses to use to show their support for gun safety and push other corporations to do better.

“Using the Gun Certified Mark, my son Joaquin is challenging America’s most powerful businesses to stand up and do their part to keep us safe from gun violence,” said Manuel Oliver, co-founder of Change the Ref. “I know that businesses that prioritize the lives of their customers and employees will be rewarded by American consumers for helping build safer communities for us all.”

“Over the last several months, corporate America recognized that they have a responsibility to help us build safer communities with fewer guns and our campaign is pushing them to turn their words into action,” said Igor Volsky founder and Executive Director of Guns Down America. “When corporate America recognizes that its top business priority is keeping its customers and employees alive, they add their voices to the overwhelming number of American consumers who support gun reform, reach more moderate and conservative audiences, and help advance the political and cultural change we’ll need to make real progress on this issue.”

The report also finds that 25 of the 29 retailers studied experienced an incident of gun violence in their stores and were thus directly impacted by the nation’s gun crisis.

“As a former retail franchise owner myself, I understand that the business community has an obligation to become involved in gun safety and to do more to protect customers and employees from the daily threat of gun violence,” said Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was killed in Parkland. “This means addressing how you as a company will address the risk of gun violence to both your employees and customers through policy. It also means asking elected leaders to do more. Failure to do so will only lead to the cost of doing business going up in both financial and, as I know all too well, personal ways.”

“Gun violence is an epidemic that threatens our schools, our houses of worship, our workplaces and our most simple errands,” said Randi Weingarten, President of the American Federation of Teachers. “As students, educators, nurses, public servants, parents, children, community members and activists, we are also customers of too many businesses whose inaction on gun violence makes our families less safe every day. We all must be part of the cure. That means above and beyond lawmaking, we need a culture change, and corporate America has a critical role to play. Business owners could bring lasting, effective change by asking customers not to bring firearms into their stores; ending political contributions to the NRA’s favorite lawmakers; and investing in the communities they serve by supporting community-based gun violence intervention programs.”

This is the second national scorecard released by Guns Down America. Earlier this year, Guns Down Released, “Is Your Bank Loaded,” a scorecard grading the nation’s 15 largest consumer banks.

The new #BusinessMustAct scorecard ranks retailers on actions to reduce gun violence in their stores, including banning the open carry of firearms; donations to the top recipients of NRA dollars in Congress; and publicly calling for gun reform. With the release of the scorecard, the coalition of 22 organizations will launch a campaign to thank the companies that are prioritizing safety and urge others to lean into the issue and improve their rankings. View the detailed scores and methodology online.

The retailers, scores on a 100 point scale, and letter grades:

Among recent incidents of gun violence at retailers with low scores:

2017: Home Depot Store Manager Shot By Fired Former Employee at Chelsea, New York Store. [The Daily Beast, 10/24/19]

2019: Good Samaritans Shot In East Point, Georgia Lowe’s Parking Lot. [11 Alive, 9/26/19v]

Shots Fired Outside Downtown Nike Store While Customers Waited For New Air Jordans.[KATU, 12/9/17]

The retailers chosen were selected from the YouGov Specialty Retail, Department Stores, and Grocery Store Popularity Lists; the top four retailers from the FourSquare Loyalty Rankings for Casual Dining, Fashion, and Quick Service Restaurants; and the top four retailers with the highest gross sales for 2018 as ranked by the National Retail Federation. This also includes the three largest clothing retailers per Business Insider’s analysis of the Forbes Global #200 list: TJ Maxx Companies, Nike, and Nordstrom.

National partners include Color of Change, the American Federation of Teachers, March for Our Lives and MoveOn.Org.

Previously, Guns Down America led the successful #Walmartmustact campaign that pushed the nation’s largest retailer to take action on gun violence.

Guns Down America is a bolder, broader movement calling for dramatically fewer guns in America, and for making them dramatically harder to get.

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