What moral obligation to do the companies have in reducing gun violence?
SumOfUs applauds WalMart’s decision to discontinue sales of handgun ammunition and short-barrel rifle ammunition that can be used with military-style weapons following two horrific shootings at WalMart stores in Mississippi and El Paso, TX this summer. SumOfUs strongly believes Walmart must remove all weaponry like long-barreled deer rifles from its stores; and that this is an opportune moment for other corporations complicit in the sale and purchase of weapons used in mass shootings, like Visa, to take measurable steps to end mass shootings.
Nearly 75,000 SumOfUs members signed a petition calling on Visa to report excessive, erratic gun and ammo purchases to law enforcement. The company already has similar measures in place and reports big-ticket transactions with suspected links to fraud, money laundering, terrorism, and other crimes.
When asked by CNBC why the corporation would not flag suspicious activity related to gun purchases, Visa CEO Al Kelly erroneously equated gun purchases with buying soda. In sharp contrast, Walmart’s Chief Executive Doug McMillon stated today that the retailer has a moral obligation “to make the country safer” and that “it’s clear to [WalMart] that the status quo is unacceptable.”
In response, Reem Suleiman, Senior Campaigner at SumOfUs, an international consumer group, released the following statement:
While Walmart takes steps towards fully removing ammunition offerings, Visa has yet to do its part in flagging erratic gun purchases. Walmart is just the tip of the iceberg. The reality is that nearly two-thirds of mass shootings of the last decade were made possible by credit card spending sprees. Walmart reducing its ammunition market from 20 percent to 6 percent is a step in the right direction, but we need corporations to undertake more to prevent the next mass shooting. Visa can no longer remain complicit as its peers move to prioritize the public’s safety.
This post was previously published on sumofus.org and is republished here with permission from the author.
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