A new policy from Salesforce that bars customers from using its business software to sell high-capacity firearms underscores the risk that large companies will wield their outsize influence to support social changes that lack broad support from federal lawmakers and voters, gun rights groups say.
The San Francisco-based company appears to be taking a page from the banking industry, where some lenders have restricted services to gun retailers and firearms manufacturers, said Mark Oliva, public affairs director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, a trade group that represents the firearms industry. It’s an example, he said, of advocacy “running amok.”
“Some people may think this is a great idea, but if it is allowed now because the targeted product is a particular type of firearm, what’s to prevent this or another company from deciding sometime in the future to essentially blacklist another product it doesn’t like?” said Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
At that point, he said, “we’re not talking about an affront to the Second Amendment and millions of law-abiding firearms owners, we’re talking about possible restraint of trade.”
The policy from Salesforce, a cloud-based software company, follows congressional inaction after a series of deadly mass shootings including the killing of 11 people at a Virginia Beach, Va., municipal building in May, 17 students and staff at a South Florida high school in February 2018, and 58 people at a Las Vegas music festival in October 2017.
The violence prompted calls for tighter restrictions on sales of high-capacity weapons and equipment such as silencers. Gun rights supporters pushed back, citing the Second Amendment’s guarantee of the right to bear arms and arguing that legal restrictions wouldn’t keep criminals from getting guns.