Gun violence is a threat to both human rights and public health, and firearms deaths including homicides and suicides have spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic. Mercy Investment Services’ engagements recently expanded to include several businesses related to the gun violence epidemic.
Mercy Investments and fellow Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility members recently sent letters to Visa, Mastercard, FedEx and UPS, which are involved in the payment and distribution for ghost guns. These do-it-yourself gun kits sold online are unregistered and unregulated, with no required background check to purchase. Investors also contacted retail chains Dollar General and Dollar Tree, which are at an increased risk for gun violence events on their premises due to their inadequate in-store security in primarily low-income communities, which threatens both customers and employees. Investors have asked the six companies for dialogues to understand how the companies are mitigating the legal and reputational risks from these connections to potential gun violence. Mercy Investments will continue to engage companies whose business activities impact ongoing gun violence in our communities.