Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

As the nation debates the best ways to curb mass shootings, America’s biggest companies are reconsidering their relationships with the gun industry.

Why it matters: The manufacturing, selling and transportation of guns is a complicated supply chain that touches much of corporate America, including retailers, banks and shippers. These corporations don't face partisan gridlock and can take action on guns swiftly, but the moves of a few companies won’t have the effect that new laws would.

What's happening: Companies are facing pressure from employees and customers to cut ties with the gun industry as mass shootings become deadlier and more frequent.

The latest:

  • Walmart CEO Doug McMillon pledged “thoughtful and deliberate” responses to the weekend’s shootings, but the company said it would make no further changes to its gun retail policies. [His note on LinkedIn followed an exhortation by New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin to use the company's massive leverage to curb gun violence.]
  • Apple CEO Tim Cook called on lawmakers to "come together to address this violence for the good of our country."
  • The Business Roundtable — corporate America's trade group, headed by JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon — told Axios: “We are deeply saddened by the events in El Paso and Dayton, and strongly denounce the senseless violence and any movements that fuel hate and intolerance, which have no place in our communities, businesses and country.”

Yes, but: No major companies announced concrete gun policy changes in response to this weekend's mass shootings. Cloudflare's CEO did say it would no longer host 8chan, a breeding ground for violent extremists where the El Paso shooter posted his racist manifesto.

Here’s what corporate America has already done:

On the retail side:

  • Amazon and eBay have banned the sale of all firearms on their platforms. And Shopify doesn’t allow the sale of semi-automatics and silencers, among other weapons.
  • Salesforce has stopped selling its e-commerce software to gun sellers.
  • Square prohibits sales of firearms or ammunition with its point-of-sale system, as does Apple with Apple Pay (though this policy applies only online, not in stores).
  • Walmart stopped selling assault rifles in 2015 and requires people buying guns to be 21, and Dick's Sporting Goods has taken all assault-style weapons off of its shelves.
  • Starbucks, while not a gun retailer, requested in 2013 that customers in states with open carry laws not bring guns into its cafes, though it stopped short of banning firearms outright.

In financial services:

  • Citigroup, in the wake of Parkland, Fla., mass shooting last year, placed restrictions on its business customers, saying they couldn't sell guns to people who were under 21 or who hadn’t passed a background check.
  • Bank of America followed Citi, saying it would stop lending to gunmakers that manufacture AR-15 rifles (then caught flak for a prior loan that involved Remington).
  • BlackRock, the world's largest asset manager, said it would build 2 new "gun-free" investment funds that excluded companies that make and sell civilian guns.

In transportation:

  • Delta and FedEx have both stopped offering discount packages to the National Rifle Association.

But, but, but: Smaller gun shops and gun shows make up a much larger piece of the vendor pie than big retailers do, and a lot of transactions take place in cash — well outside the purview of big business.

And companies that do take a stand sometimes face accusations of hypocrisy:

  • BlackRock, through its passive investment funds, is still the biggest institutional owner of firearms stocks American Outdoor Brands and Sturm, Ruger & Co., as Bloomberg notes.
  • But BlackRock said it would use its influence to engage with these companies on business practices.

The other side: A number of companies are making decisions not to wade into the gun debate.

  • Visa's CEO, Al Kelly, told the New York Times last month: "Our job is not to lecture people about what to do or what to buy. And the minute you give on guns, then what about soda? What about fur coats? What about birth control pills? What about? What about? What about?"
  • J.P. Morgan Chase has not adopted a formal policy that limits its business with gun manufacturers and gun-adjacent companies. Dimon defended the policy and said the bank has a "very small relationship with gun manufacturers," all of which face a "thorough review" before the bank does business with them.

The bottom line: The actions of these giant companies — which critics deride as too little, too late — have failed to stop the proliferation of gun violence in America.

  • "Getting individuals companies one by one to adopt policies is not nearly effective as a national law that applies to every company all at once," Adam Winkler, a professor at U.C.L.A. School of Law, tells Axios.
  • "But while these piecemeal methods are not that effective, they do provide a rallying point for gun violence prevention advocates and they can make a small difference at the margins."

Go deeper:

Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Starbucks discourages gun owners from bringing their weapons into its stores (but does not ban guns).

Go deeper

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
47 mins ago - Economy & Business

Tesla delays Cybertruck until 2023

Tesla debuts the Cybertruck in Hawthorne, Calif., on Nov. 21, 2019. Photo: Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images

Tesla is at risk of falling behind on one of the most critical products in the American auto industry: pickups.

Why it matters: Pickups are the most profitable segment in the business and account for the first, second and third best-selling vehicles in the country. Without a serious pickup strategy, Tesla could miss out on a huge source of future income.

Defense taking steps to mitigate civilian harm after botched airstrikes

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin speaks during a news conference at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on Sept. 1, 2021. Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin issued a directive Thursday to improve the U.S. military's approach to civilian harm mitigation and response, calling it a "strategic and a moral imperative."

Why it matters: The Pentagon has faced criticism for years for amassing civilian casualties in its missions, especially in the Middle East. New York Times investigations have found systemic failures in efforts to prevent civilian deaths, as well as a cover-up of a 2019 airstrike that killed dozens of women and children in Syria.

3 hours ago - World

Mapped: The world's most and least corrupt countries

Expand chart
Data: Transparency International; Map: Jared Whalen/Axios

The most corrupt governments in the world are in South Sudan, Syria and Somalia, according to Transparency International's annual index, while the "cleanest" are in Denmark, Finland and New Zealand.

  • Breaking it down: The U.S. is 27th, China 66th, India 85th, Brazil 96th and Russia 136th. Scroll over the map to see each country's ranking.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!