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Levi Strauss joins gun-control group for new national campaign

Levi Strauss & Company headquarters, San Francisco, Calif. (Roy Luck/Flickr)
September 10, 2018

On Tuesday, Levi Strauss & Co. went public with a new plan to offer a fresh new approach to assist those who work to stop gun violence.

President of the company, Chip Bergh, wrote in Tuesday’s issue of Fortune that his company “simply cannot stand by silently when it comes to issues that threaten the very fabric of the communities where we live and work,” The Hill reported last week.

“You may wonder why a company that doesn’t manufacture or sell guns is wading into this issue, but for us, it’s simple. Americans shouldn’t have to live in fear of gun violence. It’s an issue that affects all of us — all generations and all walks of life,” Bergh wrote.

Levi Strauss & Co., blue jean giant, is offering a new three-tiered approach to support gun violence prevention, starting with donations of more than $1 million over a four-year span that will establish what they have dubbed, the “Safer Tomorrow Fund.”

The donations will be given to youth activists and nonprofits to establish the fund.

In addition, Levi Strauss & Co. partnered with gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety and other executives to form Everytown Business Leaders for Gun Safety.

Bergh chose those groups to partner with since they “believe, as we do, that business has a critical role to play in and a moral obligation to do something about the gun violence epidemic in this country.”

Bergh said the company will also double all donations made by their employees to the Safer Tomorrow Fund.

He wanted to make it clear that Levi is not promoting to rescind the 2nd Amendment nor calling gun owners irresponsible.

Bergh said that Levi Strauss & Co. are a “values-drive[n] company that’s known the world over as a pioneer of the American West and one of the great symbols of American freedom,” so he feels like it’s his duty to speak out for important issues like gun violence prevention, although he realizes the issue is very controversial.

“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. But we can take common-sense, measurable steps — like criminal background checks on all gun sales — that will save lives. While taking a stand can be unpopular with some, doing nothing is no longer an option,” Bergh said.