Real estate biz leaders join call for gun reform

Leaders from Airbnb, MetaProp, Nextdoor and RXR Realty among those that signed a letter to Congress calling for a national background check law, 'red flag' law

Nearly 150 business leaders signed a letter that was sent to U.S. Senate, Thursday, calling on the governing body to pass a national background check law for all gun sales and a national extreme risk law — or “red flag law.”

The call for reform comes at a time when the U.S. has seen the number of mass shootings in 2019 — incidents where four or more people have been shot — outpace the number of days in the year, including three major mass shootings in August where 24, nine and seven people were killed, respectively. The letter, obtained by The New York Times, includes 145 business leaders, including those from Airbnb, MetaProp, Nextdoor and RXR Realty, among others.

“As leaders of some of America’s most respected companies and those with significant business interests in the United States, 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 reads.

“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 letter specifically calls for an expansion of background checks to all firearm sales and the national institution of an extreme risk law. Currently, 17 states and Washington, D.C., have extreme risk laws, according to the nonprofit Everytown for Gun Safety.

“These laws permit immediate family members and law enforcement to petition a court for an order, often known as an extreme risk protection order, to temporarily remove guns from dangerous situations,” an explainer from Everytown For Gun Safety reads.

“Following due process in court, if it is found that a person poses a serious risk of injuring themselves or others with a firearm, that person is temporarily prohibited from purchasing and possessing guns; guns they already own are held by law enforcement or another authorized party while the order is in effect,” the explainer continues.

The U.S. House Judiciary Committee advanced three bills on Tuesday, which included an extreme risk bill, along with a bill to ban high capacity magazines and a bill which would prevent those convicted of misdemeanor hate crimes from possessing firearms, according to CNN.

The three pieces of legislation would now have to pass in the House of Representatives, before being passed to the U.S. Senate. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has been criticized by Democrats in the House for his inaction on gun reform.

Email Patrick Kearns