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Study: Companies Have ‘More To Gain Than They Put At Risk’ By Supporting Gun Reforms

Several conservatives went online to blast a decision by Walmart this week to stop sale of certain kinds of ammunition and to request its customers stop open-carry of weapons in its stores.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

“So @Walmart will stop selling short-barrel rifle and handgun ammunition to appease the Left,” conservative commentator Tomi Lahren tweeted on Wednesday. “Now, I may be mistaken but I don’t think rich Hollywood Liberals living in gated communities with armed security detail are your target shoppers, Walmart.”

Her attitudes toward the big box store, however, don’t match what Americans feel overall about stores like Walmart taking a stand, at least according to a recent survey conducted by a group called the Edelman Institute, Axios reported on Thursday.

According to that group, Businesses have “more to gain than they put at risk by taking a stand” on guns and other related attempts at staving off gun violence.

In fact, across the United States (and not solely in liberal areas, as Lahren suggested) “[c]onsumers are 3x more likely to respond positively than negatively to a CEO or company that takes action to address gun violence,” including on background checks, red flag laws, and other ideas, the study found.

The findings are indeed striking: 68 percent of Americans said they’d have a favorable view of a CEO or business if they supported expanding background checks. Fifty-seven percent said their view of a business would be favorable if they backed the idea of banning certain high-capacity ammunition accessories, and 55 percent said their view of a company or business owner would be positive if they supported reinstating bans on assault weapons.

On several issues supported by gun proponents, there was much less support. Only 35 percent of Americans said they’d view a company in a favorable light, for instance, if they promoted the idea of teachers being allowed to carry guns in schools.

The report from Edelman Intelligence seems to confirm what one retailer already knew. Dick’s Sporting Goods, which took a stand last year by ending sales of assault weapons, reported a net-positive outcome from doing so, reporting last month it had its strongest quarterly gains since 2016, the Washington Post reported.

Although the company faced initial outrage from some of its customer bases, the report seemed to indicate most had abandoned what feelings of anger they previously had over the company’s decision.



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