Grassroots Movement of Moms Tells Staples It’s Time to Get Gun Sense
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America announced today that it is launching a campaign to demand that Staples ban guns from its stores nationwide. The company currently allows individual stores to prohibit firearms at their discretion. But the company’s national policy is to follow state and local laws regarding concealed and open carry.
Moms Demand Action is asking its members to demand that Staples change its policy on firearms through letters moms can take to the manager of their local Staples asking them to go gun-free; a petition that will be hand-delivered to Staples headquarters; reaching out to Staples CEO Ron Sargent through letters, emails and Tweets; writing letters to the editor of local papers to educate moms in their communities about Staples’ gun policy; and pressuring the company through social media (http://www.momsdemandaction.org/tell-staples-guns-crayons-dont-mix/).
“American moms rely on Staples for school and office supplies, and we expect national and local management to create a safe shopping environment for our families,” said Jennifer Hoppe, Director of Programs for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. “An accidental shooting in a Staples earlier this year demonstrated just how dangerous the presence of guns can be. We are calling on Staples to immediately enact a policy to ban guns from all of its stores nationwide.”
Laws related to open and concealed carry of firearms vary drastically from state to state. In more than 30 states, a gun can be legally purchased and carried openly with no training and no certification. It’s also shockingly easy to obtain a concealed carry license in many states. And due to loopholes in federal laws, many purchase weapons without undergoing a background check.
“Until the laws change, businesses need to step up and show leadership to keep the American public safer,” said Hoppe. “We reached out to company executives at Staples and have not heard back as of yet, however we remain confident that they will ultimately do the right thing with regard to ensuring the safety of their customers and employees – and take the safety of our children and families as seriously as mothers do.”
Staples stance on guns in its stores is at odds with its own corporate policies. The company’s corporate responsibility strategy, called “Staples Soul,” claims to recognize the connection between their success and their ability to make a positive impact on “customers, associates and the planet.” Like any private business, Staples has the legal right to prohibit firearms in its stores in the interest of its customers’ safety, but has chosen not to do so, despite the incidents that have taken place inside its stores due to careless or dangerous handling of loaded weapons.
Just last month, Starbucks CEO, Howard Schultz, announced its stores and adjacent outside seating areas are now gun-free. This announcement came after Moms Demand Action implemented its grassroots campaign – Skip Starbucks Saturday – which pressured Starbucks to eliminate guns from its stores nationwide. Until then, Starbucks allowed patrons to bring loaded firearms inside stores in states where concealed and open carry is permitted. According to Starbucks’ new policy, which is now in effect, “Everyone is welcome in our stores, but weapons are not.”
“Moms and women oversee nearly 80 percent of household spending, and Moms Demand Action is going to make sure they spend those dollars at businesses and institutions that respect and support the safety of our children and families,” said Hoppe.
The Staples campaign is part of Moms Demand Action’s wider corporate responsibility initiative.
The grassroots movement is urging American moms to support companies and businesses that: Don’t allow guns in their establishments, regardless of what state laws permit; don’t sell assault weapons; don’t sponsor or partner with gun lobby organizations; and don’t support or fund legislative efforts to loosen federal or state gun laws.