Walmart and Chick-fil-A get graded on their gun safety rules. Which one got an F?

Protesters in Florida call for gun reform after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018. Protesters in Florida call for gun reform after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February 2018.

Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

A coalition of 23 gun reform advocacy groups has graded several U.S. businesses on their gun safety policies, and it will come as no surprise to know that most of the class is failing.

The Gun Safety Scorecard was released Wednesday by the Business Must Act Coalition, which includes organisations such as Guns Down, March for Our Lives, and Gays Against Guns. The scorecard gives a letter grade to 29 popular retailers based upon their action — or inaction — in preventing gun violence. 

Disappointingly, 16 retailers scored Fs — over half of the businesses assessed. The retailers were selected to provide a cross-section of American businesses, and weren’t limited to those involved in gun sales. The coalition chose which businesses to evaluate based on popularity and size, which makes for some strange names showing up on the list. 

The highest-scoring companies were Kroger, Old Navy, and Walmart, who all came top of the class with As. Amazon, Costco, Nordstrom, Starbucks, Target, Trader Joe’s, and Whole Foods scored Bs, meaning they too were awarded the Gun Safety Certified mark

Only Waffle House scored a middling C, while Buffalo Wild Wings and T.J. Max were both given Ds. This isn’t ideal, but at least they missed out on the coalition’s lengthy list of shame. 

The dregs at the bottom with embarrassing Fs were 7-Eleven, Ace Hardware, Applebee’s, Barnes & Noble, Chick-fil-A, Dollar Tree, Dunkin’, Home Depot, Hot Topic, JoS. A. Bank., Kohl’s, Lowe’s, McDonald’s, Nike, Old Chicago, and Rainbow.

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“As the federal government refuses to pass reforms that will build safer communities for us all, large American employers have a responsibility to their workers, customers, and communities to do everything they can to keep us safe from the estimated 393 million firearms in civilian hands,” writes the Business Must Act Coalition.

The coalition’s scorecard was developed over three months, with reference to “media archives, industry research, trade publications, and other publicly available information.” Each retailer was given a score out of 100, with 60 points for an in-store gun policy, 20 points for not donating to NRA-backed politicians, and 20 for publicly demanding action on gun reform. These seem like fairly simple steps, so it’s telling that so many retailers failed.

Businesses could also earn up to 20 bonus points for further action taken to “help move our country in the right direction.” For example, Kroger was given 5 bonus points for “ending gun sales,” while Walmart earned 10 for “significantly limiting gun and ammunition sales.” Amazon also received 20 bonus points for “donating a percentage of purchases to gun violence prevention initiatives,” offsetting its loss of 20 points for donating $136,000 to NRA-backed politicians.

Gun violence continues to be a pressing issue across the U.S., with people in America dying to firearms at a far greater rate than other wealthy countries. According to non-profit group Gun Violence Archive, there have been 389 mass shootings in the U.S. throughout 2019 thus far — more than there are days in the year. 

As more and more corporations wade into political issues hamstrung by government inaction, these grades give us a snapshot as to which are actually taking a stand on gun violence with their policies, not just their PR. 

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