A coalition of chief executives and top business leaders sent an open letter to the U.S. Senate on Thursday, urging lawmakers to take immediate steps to curb gun violence.

"This is a public health crisis that demands urgent action," read the letter, which was signed by 145 CEOs from companies ranging from Condé Nast to Uber ($UBER). "Doing nothing about America's gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety."

The private sector heads specifically demanded that the Senate pass legislation requiring background checks on all gun sales and an overarching federal red-flag law. Already several states have implemented versions of red-flag legislation, which allows the government to temporarily prevent a person deemed to be a risk to society from obtaining a firearm.

"These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan and widely supported by the American public," the CEOs wrote, citing several statistics that point to gun control policies leading to lower rates of gun violence.

The plea comes just weeks after a wave of mass shootings — starting with the killing of 22 people at a Walmart in El Paso — shook the nation. In response, Walmart ($WMT) took several steps to limit gun violence, including halting the sale of handguns, certain types of ammunition, and banning customers from openly carrying guns even in states with open carry laws. Kroger ($KR), a major nationwide grocery chain, quickly followed suit and prohibited open carry. Walmart and Kroger were not signatories on Thursday's letter.

On universal background checks, the CEO's urged the Senate to "follow the House's lead" and pass bipartisan legislation. The House's bill, H.R. 8, was passed in February but has never been brought to a vote in the Senate, which is controlled by GOP Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell of Kentucky.

McConnell has repeatedly said he would bring gun control legislation to a vote only if the legislation is supported by the White House. President Trump — despite initially saying he would consider strengthening background check laws last month — has largely retreated from the issue, but said on Wednesday that he will release a position "in a fairly short period of time."

"We're looking at putting everything together in a unified way so that we can have something that's meaningful," Trump said. "At the same time, all of us want to protect our great Second Amendment. It's very important to all of us."

Notable signatories on Thursday's letter included the CEO's of Twitter ($TWTR), Gap ($GPS), Reddit, Royal Caribbean Cruises ($RCL), and Bloomberg. The co-chairman of Bain Capital — the investment firm founded by Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) — also signed the letter. Another curious name was Joshua Kushner, the founder of Thrive Capital and the brother of Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior advisor.

"We are writing to you because we have a responsibility and obligation to stand up for the safety of our employees, customers and all Americans in the communities we serve across the country," the letter read.

Edward Stack, the CEO of DICK'S Sporting Goods and an outspoken advocate for gun control, was also a signatory. DICK'S ($DKS) banned the sales of high-capacity magazines and assault-style weapons in 2018 after it was revealed the gunman that killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida had purchased a weapon from a DICK'S store. The policy change and Stack's vocal advocacy, however, drew the ire of critics angry over the athletics store's activism.

In response to the CEO's letter on Thursday, Fred Guttenberg, a gun control advocate whose daughter was killed in the Parkland shooting, said on Twitter that "none of this happens without the leadership of CEO Ed Stack … he is a true hero."

While praising the private sector's new-found activism, other gun control activists have stressed that the calls for action highlight the dysfunction within the U.S. political system. "It shouldn't be up to just the Walmarts of the world, our lawmakers need to act," Kyleanne Hunter, the vice president of programs at the Brady Campaign, told Cheddar last week. "If corporations are acting in the best interest of their constituents and [lawmakers] are refusing to — that is a complete backwards process."

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