The Chains That Fail At Gun Safety

The choices you make at the grocery store or drive-thru have a connection to gun reform.

When violent acts befall our country, it's easy to feel helpless. Right now the entire nation is collectively asking: What can I do? There are the big things, of course, like taking to the streets and calling representatives and working to effect change via legislation. But there's plenty to consider changing in our small day-to-day actions that could amount to a huge difference. You might be unknowingly putting money right into the pocket of the National Rifle Association when you pick up your groceries or hit the drive-thru. Use Business Must Act's Gun Safety Report Card to make sure your spending habits are making things better, not worse.

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What is the Gun Safety Report Card?

Business Must Act is a campaign calling on big business to commit to gun safety. In order to hold these businesses accountable, the organization has pulled a handful of major companies and assigned them a score out of 100 to grade them on gun safety. Here are some categories on which the companies are assessed:

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  • Actions taken to reduce gun violence in their stores (such as banning open carry)
  • Donations made to the top 25 NRA-backed lawmakers and politicians
  • Public statements issued by the companies calling for gun reform
  • The metric is somewhat flawed. For example, a company with an "A" on the report card might still be making donations to politicians who support, or are supported by, the NRA. Still, the report card provides a transparent explanation of why each company received a given grade, and it's a good jumping-off point for deciding where to spend your dollars.

Companies that scored highest on the Gun Safety Report Card

These are the businesses that have earned the Business Must Act stamp of approval as "Gun-Safety Certified," scoring an A or B on the organization's scale. Although, as is evident, there's still room for improvement with some of these companies.

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  • Costco: Guns are banned at Costco stores; no donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars.
  • Kroger: Prohibits customers from bringing guns in store; demanded action on gun reform; ended gun sales. Nevertheless, Kroger gave $40,000 to the top Congressional recipients of NRA dollars.
  • Starbucks: Requests that customers do not bring firearms into stores; no donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars.
  • Target: Requests that customers do not bring firearms into stores; investing in violence prevention initiatives. Conversely, Target gave $9,000 to the top 25 recipients of NRA dollars in Congress.
  • Trader Joe's: Requests that customers do not bring firearms into stores; no donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars.
  • Walmart: Banned open carry in its stores; publicly supports gun reform measures; significantly limits its gun and ammunition sales. Walmart gave $181,000 in donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars.
  • Whole Foods: Guns are banned at stores; no donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars.

Companies whose approach to gun control could be better

These businesses didn't totally fail, but have a long way to go, scoring a C or D on the Gun Safety Report Card.

  • Buffalo Wild Wings: $12,500 in donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars; guns banned in company-owned restaurants but not franchises; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Waffle House: Guns banned in company-owned restaurants but not franchises; has not demanded action on gun reform.

Companies that are failing at gun control

As is evident by this list, one of the main indicators of a failing company is one that has yet to even ban guns within its stores. And if it's donating a ton of money to pro-NRA Congress people on top of that, well, consider that a big, fat F.

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  • 7-Eleven: No in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Applebee's: No in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Chick-fil-A: Requires franchises to follow local laws but has not implemented a nationwide no in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Dunkin': Requires franchises to follow local laws but has not implemented a nationwide no in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Home Depot: $469,500 in political giving to the top Congressional recipients of NRA dollars; no in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • McDonald's: $64,000 in donations to the top 25 Congressional recipients of NRA dollars; requires franchises to follow local laws but has not implemented a nationwide no in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Old Chicago Pizza: No in-store gun policy; has not demanded action on gun reform.
  • Pay attention to these reports when they come out and take notice of which businesses might be sponsoring your area's local NRA events. Most popular restaurants and grocery stores won't exactly advertise that they're donating to divisive causes, so as not to jeopardize its customer base. And if your favorite spots are failing at gun reform, don't be afraid to demand that they do better. Take to social media, call corporate HQ, write emails—every little bit helps when it comes to gun reform, and maybe one day you'll be able to enjoy your Big Mac with greater peace of mind.

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