Levi’s is launching an initiative to fight gun violence, and it’s a big deal

After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Santa Fe High School mass shootings in early 2018, the demand to end gun violence has reached fever pitch. Calls for change have even reached corporations, with stores like Fred Meyer and Walmart changing their gun policies in February to end sales of assault-style rifles. Now, iconic jean brand Levi Strauss & Co. (aka Levi’s) is the latest company to join the effort to stop gun violence, reportedly working with several gun control organizations.

Yesterday, September 4th, Levi Strauss & Co. CEO and President, Chip Bergh, wrote in a Fortune op-ed that the company would increase its support of gun control reform initiatives.

"As business leaders with power in the public and political arenas, we simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to the issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work," Bergh wrote. "While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option."

Bergh outlined three strategies that Levi’s would take to end gun violence, despite being a company that does not sell guns. He wrote that the company had created the Safer Tomorrow Fund to provide more than $1 million in four years to activists and nonprofits fighting for gun control. He also announced that the denim brand would be partnering with Everytown for Gun Safety to create a coalition of business leaders focused on ending gun violence. Last, Bergh pledged to double employee donations to any of the organizations included in the Safer Tomorrow Fund, and he wrote that employees could now use paid monthly volunteer hours for political activism.

In the op-ed, Bergh went on to clarify that he does not support repealing the Second Amendment, but is advocating for common-sense gun control laws.

"We can’t insulate ourselves from every threat. We can’t “harden every place we gather—whether it be our schools, workplaces, shops, churches, or entertainment venues," he acknowledged. "But we can take common-sense, measurable steps—like criminal background checks on all gun sales—that will save lives."

The new Levi’s initiative has garnered much praise on Twitter.

Gun violence is still a huge issue in the United States, and it will continue to be an issue until we enact common-sense gun laws. In the meantime, we’re thankful for organizations and companies like Levi Strauss & Co. that are taking  a real and meaningful stand against gun violence.

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