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Westlake Legal Group > Posts tagged "firearms"

N.R.A.’s LaPierre Asks Trump to “Stop the Games” Over Gun Legislation in Discussion About Its Support

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-guns-facebookJumbo N.R.A.’s LaPierre Asks Trump to “Stop the Games” Over Gun Legislation in Discussion About Its Support United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J National Rifle Assn mass shootings LaPierre, Wayne impeachment gun control firearms

President Trump met in the White House on Friday with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, and discussed prospective gun legislation and whether the N.R.A. could provide support for the president as he faces impeachment and a more difficult re-election campaign, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

During the meeting, Mr. LaPierre asked that the White House “stop the games” over gun control legislation, people familiar with the meeting said. It was not clear whether Mr. Trump asked Mr. LaPierre for his support, or what that support would look like.

In a statement Friday evening, an N.R.A. spokesman confirmed the meeting took place but insisted The Times’s account of the meeting was “inaccurate.”

“The N.R.A. categorically denies any discussion occurred about special arrangements pertaining to the N.R.A.’s support of the President and vice versa,” the statement said.

Mr. LaPierre has been a leader in an aggressive campaign by gun rights advocates to influence the White House in the months since the back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. In a series of calls and meetings, he has tried to move Mr. Trump away from proposing any sort of background check measures akin to what he said after the mass shootings he might support.

Even before the launch of a formal impeachment inquiry, Mr. LaPierre’s influence on Mr. Trump has been clear. After a 30-minute phone call last month, Mr. Trump appeared to be espousing N.R.A. talking points when answering questions about guns.

“We have very, very strong background checks right now, but we have sort of missing areas and areas that don’t complete the whole circle,” the president told reporters last month, adding, “I have to tell you that it’s a mental problem.”

Privately, Mr. Trump has raised questions with his aides about the N.R.A.’s ability to help back his 2020 campaign the way it did in 2016, when it poured over $30 million into his election, more than any other outside group. He has voiced concerns that the group looks like it is going bankrupt and may lack the political clout it had last election cycle.

This year, the N.R.A. has been mired in investigations by attorneys general in New York and Washington, D.C. and beset by leaks about its lavish spending practices, while also facing restive donors and inquiries over its ties to Russia. And its finances have been strained.

Recent public filings have shown that it largely exhausted a $25 million line of credit that was guaranteed by the deed to its Fairfax, Va., headquarters, and borrowed against insurance policies taken out on its executives. Oliver North, who departed this year as the N.R.A.’s president in an acrimonious leadership fight, has said that the organization’s legal bills, running between $1.5 million and $2 million a month from its main law firm, have created an “existential crisis.”

In the midterm elections, gun control groups outspent the N.R.A., upending the usual political dynamics. But the organization still has considerable resources and more than five million members, many of whom overlap with Mr. Trump’s base. And rallying grass-roots support has traditionally been one of its strengths.

Aides have reassured Mr. Trump that the group is still in good enough financial shape to help him, even as his own political fortunes have shifted since the mass shootings.

For his part, Mr. Trump has been caught between opposing political pressures to do something on gun legislation and to maintain the status quo. He has idled in neutral while Congress has waited for a sign from the White House on what it plans to propose.

The White House has also been sending mixed messages on its intentions. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a senior White House adviser, was still calling around to senators this week, saying her father wanted to make a move on guns even as he faced impeachment. But Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. LaPierre on Friday indicated that his priority may be his own political survival rather than making any strides on guns.

In the meantime, White House aides and Mr. Trump himself have sought to blame House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump on Tuesday, for lowering the chances of working together on bipartisan measures.

“It’s no secret the president wants meaningful solutions to protect American communities and potentially stop one of these tragedies from ever happening again,” said Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, “and he’s going to continue doing his job even though Democrats refuse to do theirs.”

Mr. Trump and Ms. Pelosi spoke about gun policy on Tuesday. Ms. Pelosi’s staff characterized the call as completely lacking in substance on gun measures. Mr. Trump said she cared only about impeachment.

“Nancy Pelosi is not interested in guns and gun protection and gun safety. Mr. Trump said during a bilateral meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine at the United Nations General Assembly. “All she’s thinking about is this.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Trump Meets With LaPierre to Discuss How N.R.A. Could Support Political Defense

Westlake Legal Group 27dc-guns-facebookJumbo Trump Meets With LaPierre to Discuss How N.R.A. Could Support Political Defense United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J National Rifle Assn mass shootings LaPierre, Wayne impeachment gun control firearms

President Trump met on Friday with Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association, to discuss how the N.R.A. could provide financial support for the president’s defense as he faces political headwinds, including impeachment, according to two people familiar with the meeting.

It was not clear whether Mr. Trump asked Mr. LaPierre for his support, or if the idea was pitched by the N.R.A. But in return for the support, Mr. LaPierre asked that the White House “stop the games” over gun control legislation, people familiar with the meeting said.

Mr. LaPierre has been a leader in an aggressive campaign by gun rights advocates to influence the White House in the months since the back-to-back mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. In a series of calls and meetings, he has tried to move Mr. Trump away from proposing any sort of background check measures that he said after the mass shootings he might support.

But caught between political pressures to do something and doing nothing on gun legislation, Mr. Trump has been idling while Congress waits for a sign from the White House on what it plans to propose. Mr. Trump’s meeting with Mr. LaPierre on Friday indicated that his priority may be his own political survival rather than making any strides on guns.

Meanwhile, White House aides and Mr. Trump’s allies have been seeking to blame Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who announced a formal impeachment inquiry against Mr. Trump on Tuesday, for lowering the chances of working together on bipartisan measures.

“It’s no secret the president wants meaningful solutions to protect American communities and potentially stop one of these tragedies from ever happening again,” said Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman, “and he’s going to continue doing his job even though Democrats refuse to do theirs.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

China Detains FedEx Pilot Amid Rising U.S.-China Tensions

Westlake Legal Group 20fedex-1-facebookJumbo China Detains FedEx Pilot Amid Rising U.S.-China Tensions Pilots International Trade and World Market firearms Fedex Corporation China Blacklisting Airlines and Airplanes

SHANGHAI — Authorities in southern China have detained an American pilot who works for FedEx, in the latest in a series of difficulties for American travelers and companies in China.

The pilot had been waiting to catch a commercial flight out of the city of Guangzhou, where FedEx has a huge hub. In a statement, FedEx said authorities had found an object in his luggage, though it did not specify what the object was.

The pilot was released on bail, FedEx said. “We are working with the appropriate authorities to gain a better understanding of the facts,” it said in a statement and declined to comment further.

The Wall Street Journal, which reported the detention on Thursday, said that the pilot had been carrying nonmetallic pellets used in air guns, and that he was a United States Air Force veteran named Todd A. Hohn who had been trying to catch a flight to his home in nearby Hong Kong.

The Air Line Pilots Association International, the union representing most American pilots, declined to discuss the case, as did Mr. Hohn’s lawyer. The municipal foreign affairs office in Guangzhou declined to comment and referred questions to the police, who did not answer telephone calls.

FedEx is one of a number of companies that have been caught between Washington and Beijing as the trade war has intensified. But it is not clear whether the pilot’s detention was related to the company’s problems in China.

As trade frictions and other disputes fester between the United States and China and as China itself becomes more authoritarian, more Americans have found themselves stuck in China and unable to leave. A Koch Industries executive was held in southern China and interrogated for days in June before being allowed to exit the country.

The State Department issued a travel advisory for China in January, warning Americans, particularly those with dual Chinese-American citizenship, that they may not be allowed to leave China if they go there.

A growing number of foreign companies, particularly American companies but also Canadian and European businesses, have responded by scrutinizing but not prohibiting travel to China by executives and employees.

But the quick release of the pilot, although without allowing him to leave the country, may indicate that China is not eager to turn him into a bilateral issue, said James Zimmerman, a partner in the Beijing office of Perkins Coie, a global law firm.

“The fact that he was released is a critically important message and a positive sign — Beijing probably ordered his release to minimize the significance of the issue, and this is an indication that Beijing doesn’t want this case to be a huge distraction.” Mr. Zimmerman said.

Mr. Zimmerman said that China does not have a bail system as it is generally understood in the West. China relies more on severe travel restrictions on people who are released from detention but remain under investigation.

The detention comes as the United States and China are trying to reach at least a partial truce in their 15-month trade war. Chinese officials have been eager to head off further tariffs that President Trump has planned to impose on Oct. 15 and Dec. 15, but are also loath to agree to the broad Chinese policy changes sought by the Trump administration.

It was unclear on Friday if Chinese authorities had deliberately targeted the pilot because he worked for FedEx. The detention came as Chinese airports have visibly increased security measures in recent months. The authorities have paid particular attention to travelers going to or from Hong Kong, a semiautonomous Chinese territory where large and increasingly violent protests have taken place every weekend this summer.

China has strict laws not just against the possession of weapons but also against the possession of any kind of ammunition.

FedEx has had a series of difficulties in China in recent months. China has accused FedEx of delaying shipments last May by Huawei, the Chinese telecommunications giant accused by American officials of working with Chinese intelligence — accusations that Huawei denies.

FedEx has also been working with Chinese authorities to investigate how one of its American clients was allowed to send a gun to a sporting goods store in southeastern China. The gun was also detected and stopped by Chinese authorities.

Chinese nationalists have called in recent weeks for FedEx to be included on a list of “unreliable entities” that the country’s Commerce Ministry has been drafting. The drafting has begun in response to the United States Commerce Department’s decision to begin putting Huawei on an “entities list” of foreign companies to which goods can only be exported from the United States with special licenses.

Cathay Pacific, a large airline based in Hong Kong, has separately come under heavy scrutiny by the Chinese government after some of its employees expressed support for pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong. China threatened to revoke the airline’s access to its airspace unless Cathay reined in its employees.

Cathay Pacific and FedEx are two of the largest airlines hauling Chinese exports to the United States. Much of China’s electronics exports, particularly higher-value items like iPhones, travel by air.

In addition to scrutinizing travelers to and from Hong Kong very closely, the Chinese government has also begun checking foreigners visiting or living in the country for any possession or recent use of drugs, sometimes even weeks or months before the foreigners came to China. That has also produced a series of detentions.

Travel experts now strongly advise anyone going to China to carry prescription medicines in their original containers, and not to carry any prescription medicines that may be illegal in China, like prescription cannabis.

FedEx is a well-known company in China as well as in the United States. By coincidence, HBO showed in China on Thursday night the Tom Hanks movie “Cast Away,” the fictional story of a FedEx manager marooned on a Pacific island for years.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers

The gun maker Colt said on Thursday that it would effectively suspend production of sporting rifles, including the AR-15, for the civilian market but continue to manufacture rifles for government weapons contracts.

In a statement on its website, Colt emphasized that the company remained “committed to the Second Amendment,” but cited market conditions for its decision.

“Over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” Dennis Veilleux, the company’s chief executive, said in the statement. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

Colt’s decision is unlikely to make it more difficult for gun buyers to get their hands on powerful semiautomatic weapons, said Timothy D. Lytton, an expert on the gun industry at Georgia State University.

“If there’s market demand,” he said, “I’m sure there are other companies with the capacity to fill it.”

The AR-15, a military-style weapon, has been used in several recent mass shootings, including in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; and Parkland, Fla.

[Fans explain the appeal of the AR-15.]

Major retailers and other businesses linked to the gun industry have faced growing public pressure to take steps to curb gun violence in response to recent mass shootings. After a shooting in August at one of its stores in El Paso, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition that could be used in military-style assault rifles.

Colt did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday. But in the statement, Mr. Veilleux emphasized that the company, whose products are available at more than 4,000 dealers across the country, would continue to manufacture handguns for the consumer market.

The financial effect of the decision is unclear. Colt, a private company, does not list sales for its sporting rifles on its website.

While Colt has framed it as an economic decision, Mr. Lytton said, the public pressure may have influenced the company. He noted that Colt was based in Hartford, Conn., not far from the site of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“The mass shootings are probably making the company a little bit brand-sensitive,” Mr. Lytton said. “They’re probably feeling a kind of pressure or heat that manufacturers in other parts of the country may not be.”

The news that Colt would stop producing rifles for consumers was reported last week in an industry blog, The Truth About Guns, which cited an email the RSR Group, a firearms distributor, had sent to retailers saying Colt had informed it of the policy change. A spokeswoman for the RSR Group declined to comment.

And last week, a Colt marketing executive told the National Rifle Association’s publication Shooting Illustrated that the company had seen “a pretty sharp decline in rifle sales.”

“We listen to our customers,” the Colt executive, Paul Spitale, told Shooting Illustrated.

Colt is the manufacturer most closely associated with the AR-15, a lightweight, semiautomatic weapon. The Colt Armalite Rifle-15 Sporter hit the market in the early 1960s as the first civilian version of the military’s M16 rifle.

Over the years, however, the AR-15 has become a catchall for a range of weapons that look and operate similarly, including the Remington Bushmaster, the Smith & Wesson M&P15 and the Springfield Armory Saint.

With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality

Sept. 18, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 17Gunads6-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company
AR-15 Rifles Are Beloved, Reviled and a Common Element in Mass Shootings

June 13, 2016

Westlake Legal Group 14ar-15-videoLarge Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company
AR-15: The Gun Behind So Many Mass Shootings

Nov. 9, 2017

Westlake Legal Group AR15_COVERIMAGE_v2-videoLarge Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers

The gun maker Colt said on Thursday that it would effectively suspend production of sporting rifles, including the AR-15, for the civilian market but continue to manufacture rifles for government weapons contracts.

In a statement on its website, Colt emphasized that the company remained “committed to the Second Amendment,” but cited market conditions for its decision.

“Over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” Dennis Veilleux, the company’s chief executive, said in the statement. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

Colt’s decision is unlikely to make it more difficult for gun buyers to get their hands on powerful semiautomatic weapons, said Timothy D. Lytton, an expert on the gun industry at Georgia State University.

“If there’s market demand,” he said, “I’m sure there are other companies with the capacity to fill it.”

The AR-15, a military-style weapon, has been used in several recent mass shootings, including in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; and Parkland, Fla.

[Fans explain the appeal of the AR-15.]

Major retailers and other businesses linked to the gun industry have faced growing public pressure to take steps to curb gun violence in response to recent mass shootings. After a shooting in August at one of its stores in El Paso, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition that could be used in military-style assault rifles.

Colt did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday. But in the statement, Mr. Veilleux emphasized that the company, whose products are available at more than 4,000 dealers across the country, would continue to manufacture handguns for the consumer market.

The financial effect of the decision is unclear. Colt, a private company, does not list sales for its sporting rifles on its website.

While Colt has framed it as an economic decision, Mr. Lytton said, the public pressure may have influenced the company. He noted that Colt was based in Hartford, Conn., not far from the site of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“The mass shootings are probably making the company a little bit brand-sensitive,” Mr. Lytton said. “They’re probably feeling a kind of pressure or heat that manufacturers in other parts of the country may not be.”

The news that Colt would stop producing rifles for consumers was reported last week in an industry blog, The Truth About Guns, which cited an email the RSR Group, a firearms distributor, had sent to retailers saying Colt had informed it of the policy change. A spokeswoman for the RSR Group declined to comment.

And last week, a Colt marketing executive told the National Rifle Association’s publication Shooting Illustrated that the company had seen “a pretty sharp decline in rifle sales.”

“We listen to our customers,” the Colt executive, Paul Spitale, told Shooting Illustrated.

Colt is the manufacturer most closely associated with the AR-15, a lightweight, semiautomatic weapon. The Colt Armalite Rifle-15 Sporter hit the market in the early 1960s as the first civilian version of the military’s M16 rifle.

Over the years, however, the AR-15 has become a catchall for a range of weapons that look and operate similarly, including the Remington Bushmaster, the Smith & Wesson M&P15 and the Springfield Armory Saint.

With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality

Sept. 18, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 17Gunads6-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company
AR-15 Rifles Are Beloved, Reviled and a Common Element in Mass Shootings

June 13, 2016

Westlake Legal Group 14ar-15-videoLarge Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company
AR-15: The Gun Behind So Many Mass Shootings

Nov. 9, 2017

Westlake Legal Group AR15_COVERIMAGE_v2-videoLarge Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers

The gun maker Colt said on Thursday that it would effectively suspend production of sporting rifles, including the AR-15, for the civilian market but continue to manufacture rifles for government weapons contracts.

In a statement on its website, Colt emphasized that the company remained “committed to the Second Amendment,” but cited market conditions for its decision.

“Over the last few years, the market for modern sporting rifles has experienced significant excess manufacturing capacity,” Dennis Veilleux, the company’s chief executive, said in the statement. “Given this level of manufacturing capacity, we believe there is adequate supply for modern sporting rifles for the foreseeable future.”

Colt’s decision is unlikely to make it more difficult for gun buyers to get their hands on powerful semiautomatic weapons, said Timothy D. Lytton, an expert on the gun industry at Georgia State University.

“If there’s market demand,” he said, “I’m sure there are other companies with the capacity to fill it.”

The AR-15, a military-style weapon, has been used in several recent mass shootings, including in Newtown, Conn.; Orlando, Fla.; and Parkland, Fla.

[Fans explain the appeal of the AR-15.]

Major retailers and other businesses linked to the gun industry have faced growing public pressure to take steps to curb gun violence in response to recent mass shootings. After a shooting in August at one of its stores in El Paso, Walmart said it would stop selling ammunition that could be used in military-style assault rifles.

Colt did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday. But in the statement, Mr. Veilleux emphasized that the company, whose products are available at more than 4,000 dealers across the country, would continue to manufacture handguns for the consumer market.

The financial effect of the decision is unclear. Colt, a private company, does not list sales for its sporting rifles on its website.

While Colt has framed it as an economic decision, Mr. Lytton said, the public pressure may have influenced the company. He noted that Colt was based in Hartford, Conn., not far from the site of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

“The mass shootings are probably making the company a little bit brand-sensitive,” Mr. Lytton said. “They’re probably feeling a kind of pressure or heat that manufacturers in other parts of the country may not be.”

The news that Colt would stop producing rifles for consumers was reported last week in an industry blog, The Truth About Guns, which cited an email the RSR Group, a firearms distributor, had sent to retailers saying Colt had informed it of the policy change. A spokeswoman for the RSR Group declined to comment.

And last week, a Colt marketing executive told the National Rifle Association’s publication Shooting Illustrated that the company had seen “a pretty sharp decline in rifle sales.”

“We listen to our customers,” the Colt executive, Paul Spitale, told Shooting Illustrated.

Colt is the manufacturer most closely associated with the AR-15, a lightweight, semiautomatic weapon. The Colt Armalite Rifle-15 Sporter hit the market in the early 1960s as the first civilian version of the military’s M16 rifle.

Over the years, however, the AR-15 has become a catchall for a range of weapons that look and operate similarly, including the Remington Bushmaster, the Smith & Wesson M&P15 and the Springfield Armory Saint.

With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality

Sept. 18, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 17Gunads6-threeByTwoSmallAt2X Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company
AR-15 Rifles Are Beloved, Reviled and a Common Element in Mass Shootings

June 13, 2016

Westlake Legal Group 14ar-15-videoLarge Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company
AR-15: The Gun Behind So Many Mass Shootings

Nov. 9, 2017

Westlake Legal Group AR15_COVERIMAGE_v2-videoLarge Colt to Suspend Production of AR-15 Rifles for Consumers gun control firearms Colt's Manufacturing Company

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality

Westlake Legal Group 17Gunads6-facebookJumbo With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality School Shootings and Armed Attacks Sandy Hook Promise Political Advertising Newtown, Conn, Shooting (2012) mass shootings gun control firearms El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019) Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019) BBDO New York

Going back to school means worrying about what to wear, deciding what classes to take and, increasingly, knowing what to do if someone appears on campus with a gun.

This reality in American classrooms is reflected in a harrowing ad being released on Wednesday from Sandy Hook Promise, a gun safety advocacy group created after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

The spot, which will debut during the “Today” show, starts as cheerfully as any other back-to-school commercial, with a boy at his locker praising his new backpack.

[embedded content]

Back to School Essentials | Sandy Hook PromiseCreditCreditVideo by Sandy Hook Promise

Then, the testimonials darken. “These new sneakers are just what I needed for the new year,” one boy says as he sprints away from the sounds of screams and gunshots. “These new socks, they can be a real lifesaver,” a girl says, peeling off her knee-high hosiery to use as a tourniquet on another student’s bloody leg.

In the final scene, a girl huddles in a bathroom stall and types out a loving text to her mother on a glittery pink phone. Tears stream down her face.

“I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom,” she says, closing her eyes at the sound of a door opening and footsteps approaching.

“Gun violence and school shootings are not easy subjects, and they shouldn’t be fun to watch,” said Nicole Hockley, a former marketing consultant who co-founded Sandy Hook Promise after her 6-year-old son, Dylan, died in the Newtown shooting. “The more we step away from reality, the less respect we’re giving to those who have to live through this.”

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, more than 400 people have been shot on campuses around the country. For many students, the excitement of returning to school is increasingly mixed with the anxiety of active shooter drills and shelter-in-place tutorials.

In response, gun safety activists are escalating their efforts. They’re investing more in ads, promoting them more aggressively and making them far more provocative and uncomfortable to view.

Guns have long been at the center of a divisive national conversation about public safety, personal freedom, partisan policymaking and corporate action. In August alone, 53 people died in mass shootings, including shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso and revelers in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio.

This month, Walmart said it would stop selling certain kinds of ammunition, discourage customers from openly carrying guns in its stores and encourage debate around gun reform legislation. Last week, the heads of nearly 150 companies, including Twitter and Uber, sent a letter to Senate leaders calling for stronger background checks on firearms sales and “red flag” laws.

In a blog post last month, the online firearms retailer K-Var wrote that it had been notified that NASCAR was shifting its position on guns and had demanded that ads featuring firearms be changed before they would be included in its official racing programs. The racing organization did not respond to a request for comment.

The gun industry is known for its savvy marketing strategies. It has courted women and children with firearm accessories and cartoons. The National Rifle Association, before a public breakup with its advertising firm, ran an influential online media arm called NRATV.

In the 20 days after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the N.R.A. doubled its spending on digital ads compared with the same period before the attacks, to more than $21,000 a day from $10,000, according to Pathmatics, which analyzes digital advertising data. On one day, the trade group spent more than $38,000.

But the groups opposing the gun lobby have begun to ramp up their marketing activity, too. Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization funded in part by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, recently pledged to spend at least $2.5 million supporting gun control policies in Virginia before the election next year.

Last month, as part of a $350,000 campaign, the group released television ads pressuring four Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, to support background check legislation.

Giffords, the gun control organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, announced last month an ad campaign of nearly $750,000 that also focused on background checks.

Gun safety ads are being produced by top advertising agencies and promoted on popular platforms. Since 2014, Sandy Hook Promise has worked with the 128-year-old firm BBDO on several commercials, most of which have been directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary in 2006.

The new Sandy Hook Promise ad will also be available online, and the group’s leaders said they had been told that several presidential candidates would share it on social media. They also said that they received $2 million in donated media placements from CNN, AMC, Condé Nast, iHeartRadio and more.

In the past, the advertising industry has been cautious about addressing politically sensitive topics, said Michael E. Kassan, the founder and chief executive of the media consulting company MediaLink. But he said that marketing companies now sensed that a significant portion of the American public had tired of bracing for the next mass shooting.

“There’s more willingness from agencies to be involved in conversations about gun safety,” he said. “Consumers have spoken in a loud voice, that they’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.”

In Manhattan this summer, the gun safety group Brady teamed up with the artist WhIsBe to open a parody pop-up store called Back to School Shopping, which sold child-size bulletproof vests and lunchboxes packed with pepper spray and first-aid kits. Brady also worked last year with the Ad Council and the Droga5 agency on an ad campaign about children hurt or killed at home by improperly stored guns.

March for Our Lives, an advocacy group formed after a gunman killed 17 people last year at a high school in Parkland, Fla., linked up with the advertising agency McCann New York and won a top award at the Cannes Lions festival this year. Their ad, “Generation Lockdown,” showed office workers being taught about active shooter incidents by a young girl, who trains them not to cry because “it gives away your position.”

“We’re competing with the news cycle, where there’s a mass shooting every other week,” said Alex Little, a creative director at McCann who worked on the ad. “If your message isn’t as impactful, you’re never going to cut through.”

Last year, an ad from Sandy Hook Promise filmed from a school shooter’s point of view was nominated for an Emmy. (It lost to Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad featuring Colin Kaepernick.)

The new Sandy Hook Promise ad is the first of the group’s commercials to portray blood. But Greg Hahn, the chief creative officer at BBDO New York, said that the spot, while stark, tries to avoid the polarizing debate on gun policy.

“We’re trying to unite people in the common good of saving kids’ lives, as opposed to saying we should ban guns,” he said. “It’s not about picking a side and defending it.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality

Westlake Legal Group 17Gunads6-facebookJumbo With Harrowing Ads, Gun Safety Groups Push a Scarier Reality School Shootings and Armed Attacks Sandy Hook Promise Political Advertising Newtown, Conn, Shooting (2012) mass shootings gun control firearms El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019) Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019) BBDO New York

Going back to school means worrying about what to wear, deciding what classes to take and, increasingly, knowing what to do if someone appears on campus with a gun.

This reality in American classrooms is reflected in a harrowing ad being released on Wednesday from Sandy Hook Promise, a gun safety advocacy group created after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in 2012.

The spot, which will debut during the “Today” show, starts as cheerfully as any other back-to-school commercial, with a boy at his locker praising his new backpack.

[embedded content]

Back to School Essentials | Sandy Hook PromiseCreditCreditVideo by Sandy Hook Promise

Then, the testimonials darken. “These new sneakers are just what I needed for the new year,” one boy says as he sprints away from the sounds of screams and gunshots. “These new socks, they can be a real lifesaver,” a girl says, peeling off her knee-high hosiery to use as a tourniquet on another student’s bloody leg.

In the final scene, a girl huddles in a bathroom stall and types out a loving text to her mother on a glittery pink phone. Tears stream down her face.

“I finally got my own phone to stay in touch with my mom,” she says, closing her eyes at the sound of a door opening and footsteps approaching.

“Gun violence and school shootings are not easy subjects, and they shouldn’t be fun to watch,” said Nicole Hockley, a former marketing consultant who co-founded Sandy Hook Promise after her 6-year-old son, Dylan, died in the Newtown shooting. “The more we step away from reality, the less respect we’re giving to those who have to live through this.”

Since the Sandy Hook shooting, more than 400 people have been shot on campuses around the country. For many students, the excitement of returning to school is increasingly mixed with the anxiety of active shooter drills and shelter-in-place tutorials.

In response, gun safety activists are escalating their efforts. They’re investing more in ads, promoting them more aggressively and making them far more provocative and uncomfortable to view.

Guns have long been at the center of a divisive national conversation about public safety, personal freedom, partisan policymaking and corporate action. In August alone, 53 people died in mass shootings, including shoppers at a Walmart in El Paso and revelers in an entertainment district in Dayton, Ohio.

This month, Walmart said it would stop selling certain kinds of ammunition, discourage customers from openly carrying guns in its stores and encourage debate around gun reform legislation. Last week, the heads of nearly 150 companies, including Twitter and Uber, sent a letter to Senate leaders calling for stronger background checks on firearms sales and “red flag” laws.

In a blog post last month, the online firearms retailer K-Var wrote that it had been notified that NASCAR was shifting its position on guns and had demanded that ads featuring firearms be changed before they would be included in its official racing programs. The racing organization did not respond to a request for comment.

The gun industry is known for its savvy marketing strategies. It has courted women and children with firearm accessories and cartoons. The National Rifle Association, before a public breakup with its advertising firm, ran an influential online media arm called NRATV.

In the 20 days after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, the N.R.A. doubled its spending on digital ads compared with the same period before the attacks, to more than $21,000 a day from $10,000, according to Pathmatics, which analyzes digital advertising data. On one day, the trade group spent more than $38,000.

But the groups opposing the gun lobby have begun to ramp up their marketing activity, too. Everytown for Gun Safety, an organization funded in part by former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, recently pledged to spend at least $2.5 million supporting gun control policies in Virginia before the election next year.

Last month, as part of a $350,000 campaign, the group released television ads pressuring four Republican senators, including Mitch McConnell of Kentucky and Marco Rubio of Florida, to support background check legislation.

Giffords, the gun control organization founded by former Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, announced last month an ad campaign of nearly $750,000 that also focused on background checks.

Gun safety ads are being produced by top advertising agencies and promoted on popular platforms. Since 2014, Sandy Hook Promise has worked with the 128-year-old firm BBDO on several commercials, most of which have been directed by Henry-Alex Rubin, who was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary in 2006.

The new Sandy Hook Promise ad will also be available online, and the group’s leaders said they had been told that several presidential candidates would share it on social media. They also said that they received $2 million in donated media placements from CNN, AMC, Condé Nast, iHeartRadio and more.

In the past, the advertising industry has been cautious about addressing politically sensitive topics, said Michael E. Kassan, the founder and chief executive of the media consulting company MediaLink. But he said that marketing companies now sensed that a significant portion of the American public had tired of bracing for the next mass shooting.

“There’s more willingness from agencies to be involved in conversations about gun safety,” he said. “Consumers have spoken in a loud voice, that they’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore.”

In Manhattan this summer, the gun safety group Brady teamed up with the artist WhIsBe to open a parody pop-up store called Back to School Shopping, which sold child-size bulletproof vests and lunchboxes packed with pepper spray and first-aid kits. Brady also worked last year with the Ad Council and the Droga5 agency on an ad campaign about children hurt or killed at home by improperly stored guns.

March for Our Lives, an advocacy group formed after a gunman killed 17 people last year at a high school in Parkland, Fla., linked up with the advertising agency McCann New York and won a top award at the Cannes Lions festival this year. Their ad, “Generation Lockdown,” showed office workers being taught about active shooter incidents by a young girl, who trains them not to cry because “it gives away your position.”

“We’re competing with the news cycle, where there’s a mass shooting every other week,” said Alex Little, a creative director at McCann who worked on the ad. “If your message isn’t as impactful, you’re never going to cut through.”

Last year, an ad from Sandy Hook Promise filmed from a school shooter’s point of view was nominated for an Emmy. (It lost to Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad featuring Colin Kaepernick.)

The new Sandy Hook Promise ad is the first of the group’s commercials to portray blood. But Greg Hahn, the chief creative officer at BBDO New York, said that the spot, while stark, tries to avoid the polarizing debate on gun policy.

“We’re trying to unite people in the common good of saving kids’ lives, as opposed to saying we should ban guns,” he said. “It’s not about picking a side and defending it.”

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Schumer and Pelosi, Talking to Trump on Guns, Try to Sweeten the Deal

Westlake Legal Group 15dc-guns-facebookJumbo Schumer and Pelosi, Talking to Trump on Guns, Try to Sweeten the Deal United States Politics and Government Trump, Donald J Senate Second Amendment (US Constitution) Schumer, Charles E Pelosi, Nancy mass shootings Law and Legislation House of Representatives gun control firearms El Paso, Tex, Shooting (2019) Dayton, Ohio, Shooting (2019)

WASHINGTON — The top two Democrats in Congress, seeking to ramp up pressure on Republicans to pass legislation extending background checks to all gun buyers, told President Trump on Sunday that they would join him at the White House for a “historic signing ceremony at the Rose Garden” if he agreed to the measure.

The offer, made by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, during an 11-minute phone conversation with Mr. Trump, comes as the president is considering a package of measures to respond to the mass shootings that have terrorized the nation in recent months. The three spoke only about gun legislation, according to aides.

Judd Deere, a White House spokesman, said in a statement that the conversation was cordial but that Mr. Trump “made no commitments” on a House-passed background checks bill that Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer are urging him to support.

Mr. Trump “instead indicated his interest in working to find a bipartisan legislative solution on appropriate responses to the issue of mass gun violence,” Mr. Deere said.

Ms. Pelosi and Mr. Schumer want Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the Republican leader, to take up the bill, but the senator has refused to do so without knowing whether the president would sign it.

The Democratic leaders’ offer to the president was a bit of public posturing; they know that it is unlikely that Mr. Trump will embrace the House bill, which is strongly opposed by the National Rifle Association, the nation’s largest gun lobbying group and a major backer of the president. Polls show that roughly 90 percent of Americans favor extending background checks, and Democrats believe gun safety is a winning issue for them with voters, but Mr. Trump has gone back and forth on the issue.

“This morning, we made it clear to the president that any proposal he endorses that does not include the House-passed universal background checks legislation will not get the job done, as dangerous loopholes will still exist and people who shouldn’t have guns will still have access,” their statement said, adding, “We know that to save as many lives as possible, the Senate must pass this bill and the president must sign it.”

Their pressure continued a campaign on an issue that has dominated the political debate in Washington and on the Democratic presidential campaign trail since a string of mass shootings over the summer.

At last week’s Democratic presidential debate, former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas, who has proposed a mandatory buyback program for assault weapons, declared, “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15, your AK-47.”

The comment quickly went viral, playing into the hands of Republicans who fight gun bills by warning that Democrats will violate Americans’ Second Amendment rights. It also turned into a headache for Democrats on Capitol Hill, who are trying to propose what they often describe as “reasonable” gun legislation and are single-mindedly focused on forcing Republicans to take up the background checks bill, having decided to drop a push for an assault weapons ban.

“We know background checks work,” Representative David Cicilline, Democrat of Rhode Island and a member of leadership, said Sunday on “Fox News Sunday,” adding: “The American people are demanding that we do something. It is no longer safe to be in synagogues and churches and shopping malls and schools.”

After back-to-back mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Tex., in early August, the White House initiated bipartisan talks with senators to determine what, if any, gun bills they might work on together. Aides to Mr. Trump presented the president with his options last week, but the White House has not said precisely what Mr. Trump is considering.

The talks have included discussion of the so-called Manchin-Toomey bill, a bipartisan Senate measure named for its chief sponsors, Senators Joe Manchin III, Democrat of West Virginia, and Patrick J. Toomey, Republican of Pennsylvania. That bill is not as far-reaching as the House measure; it would extend background checks only for commercial sales, not for private sales, and includes some exemptions for friends and family members.

A White House official, speaking anonymously to discuss internal deliberations, said on Sunday that the president had instructed his advisers to continue to work to find a range of policies that would go after illegal gun sales while protecting the Second Amendment, and expand the role of mental health professionals.

Senators participating in the talks say they also have included consideration of “red flag” legislation, which would make it easier for law enforcement to take guns from people deemed dangerous by a judge. Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, is working on such a bill in the Senate.

In arguing for the background checks bill, Mr. Schumer and Ms. Pelosi said people subject to such orders might still be able to purchase firearms if the background checks system is not expanded. They vowed in their statement to “accelerate a relentless drumbeat of action to force Senator McConnell to pass our background checks bills.”

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‘Simply Unacceptable’: 145 Executives Demand Senate Action on Gun Violence

In a direct and urgent call to address gun violence in America, the chief executives of some of the nation’s best-known companies sent a letter to Senate leaders on Thursday, urging an expansion of background checks to all firearms sales and stronger “red flag” laws.

“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 heads of 145 companies, including Levi Strauss, Twitter and Uber, say in the letter, which was shared with The New York Times.

The letter — which urges the Republican-controlled Senate to enact bills already introduced in the Democrat-led House of Representatives — is the most concerted effort by the business community to enter the gun debate, one of the most polarizing issues in the nation and one that was long considered off limits.

The debate and the decision to sign — or not sign — are a case study in how chief executives must weigh their own views and the political risks to their businesses.

“To a certain extent, these C.E.O.s are putting their businesses on the line here, given how politically charged this is,” said Chip Bergh, chief executive of Levi Strauss, a company whose denim jeans have long been a symbol of America. Mr. Bergh spent the last several days trying to cajole his peers into joining him and gun control advocates like Everytown, which is funded in part by Michael Bloomberg. “Business leaders are not afraid to get engaged now,” he added. “C.E.O.s are wired to take action on things that are going to impact their business and gun violence is impacting everybody’s business now.”

Mr. Bergh said he was encouraged by the conversations. “The tide is turning,” he said, citing a spate of recent polls that show a majority of Americans in both parties support background checks and red flag laws. “People were starting to be much more open-minded,” he said, even when the discussion didn’t conclude with a signature.

Yet he is also bracing for a backlash. “This has been spun by the N.R.A. as we’re trying to repeal the Second Amendment,” Mr. Bergh said. “Nothing is further from the truth.”

The movement has gained momentum since last month, when a shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso killed 22 people. A day later, nine people were shot and killed in Dayton, Ohio.

“Gun violence in America is not inevitable; it’s preventable,” the business leaders wrote. “We need our lawmakers to support common-sense gun laws that could prevent tragedies like these.”

In addition to the expanded background checks, they are pressing the government to let federal courts issue temporary orders keeping guns out of the hands of people considered at risk of violence, under what is known as a red-flag law.

A week ago, Walmart, the largest retailer and employer in the country, wrote its own letter to Congress, pushing for a debate over reauthorizing an assault weapons ban. It also announced that it was removing certain ammunition and guns from its shelves and would discourage “open carry” in its stores. Other retailers followed suit by changing their open-carry policies, including Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and the Wegmans grocery chain.

Read more from Andrew Ross Sorkin on the gun debate
Walmart’s C.E.O. Steps Into the Gun Debate. Other C.E.O.s Should Follow.

Sept. 3, 2019

Westlake Legal Group merlin_138861399_eb31fe7d-2756-4d09-a85d-b147d7d9f84e-threeByTwoSmallAt2X ‘Simply Unacceptable’: 145 Executives Demand Senate Action on Gun Violence United States Politics and Government Uber Technologies Inc Salesforce.com Inc mass shootings Law and Legislation gun control Google Inc firearms Facebook Inc Debates (Political) Corporate Social Responsibility Bergh, Charles V
Dear Walmart C.E.O.: You Have the Power to Curb Gun Violence. Do It.

Aug. 5, 2019

Westlake Legal Group 05db-sorkin-guns2-threeByTwoSmallAt2X ‘Simply Unacceptable’: 145 Executives Demand Senate Action on Gun Violence United States Politics and Government Uber Technologies Inc Salesforce.com Inc mass shootings Law and Legislation gun control Google Inc firearms Facebook Inc Debates (Political) Corporate Social Responsibility Bergh, Charles V

The letter signers on Thursday include the leaders of Airbnb, the Gap, Pinterest, Lyft, the Brookfield Property Group and Royal Caribbean.

Missing from the list, however, are some of America’s biggest financial and technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, some of which debated internally whether to sign the letter.

Two companies that signed may raise eyebrows in Washington: Thrive Capital, whose founder, Joshua Kushner, is the brother of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law, and Bain Capital, the private equity firm co-founded by Senator Mitt Romney, Republican of Utah.

The letter is the latest example of the business community’s stepping into a sensitive political area — sometimes reluctantly — during the Trump presidency. Business leaders have criticized Mr. Trump’s immigration policy and his response to the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va. On guns, the president has on several occasions offered support for stronger firearms policies before stepping away.

Some of the letter signers plan to lobby lawmakers in Washington, but it is unclear how much money, if any, the companies may devote to this issue.

Some executives signed on without hesitation. Others mulled it, often creating a raucous debate inside their offices and among their boards of directors, only to decide that the political risk was too high. More than a half-dozen executives spoke about their deliberations on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of conversations.

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook did not sign, although he told colleagues and peers that he agreed with stricter background checks, two people involved in the conversation said. With Facebook under federal scrutiny — and contending with a drumbeat of criticism from Republicans who contend that the company’s platform silences conservative voices — Mr. Zuckerberg has decided that activism on this issue would only intensify the spotlight on the company, these people said. Others inside Facebook made the case that it was a moral responsibility to press for more responsible gun sales laws.

Similar concerns were raised by the leadership at Google, whose YouTube unit was the site of a shooting last year. Google recently announced an internal policy that would make it hard for the company to consider signing the letter. That policy includes this line: “Our primary responsibility is to do the work we’ve each been hired to do, not to spend working time on debates about non-work topics.”

Uber’s chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, signed. His company’s policy bans guns from its vehicles, either for drivers or passengers. Once he signed, Lyft, Uber’s main rival, signed as well.

Several executives said one of the biggest practical worries was whether taking such a stance would lead to in-store confrontations with angry customers carrying guns. Would they be putting their employees in danger or even just in an uncomfortable discussion about a divisive issue?

Even banks like Citigroup and Bank of America, which both publicly distanced themselves from gunmakers this year by ending lending and banking relationships with manufacturers, declined to sign the letter. After they made their positions public this year, the banks were rebuked by Republican lawmakers. Louisiana passed a law preventing the banks from working on bond offerings for the state.

“I personally believe the policies of these banks are an infringement on the rights of Louisiana citizens,” the state’s treasurer, John Schroder, said at the time. “No one can convince me that keeping these two banks in this competitive process is worth giving up our rights.”

For better or worse, business leaders are increasingly carving out positions on social issues. It’s not new — and the Hobby Lobby fight against the contraceptive provision of the Affordable Care Act shows us that such positioning does not confine itself to progressive causes — but it is growing.

In some cases, those maneuvers have happened out of necessity, as when top executives could not count on a strong response from Washington after the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That touched off a flurry of calls between some of the country’s top finance executives about how to handle a conference being hosted by Saudi Arabia, whose crown prince had been implicated in Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

But over the last three years, businesses have become engaged on social issues like immigration, climate change and race in a way that would have been unfathomable a decade ago. On Thursday, businesses turned to the problem of gun violence.

The letter suggested that background checks on all gun sales were a “common-sense solution with overwhelming public support.” A number of polls have put backing for such policies above 90 percent.

The market is demanding action — and businesses are listening.

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