Levi’s has a simple request: Come for the jeans, but leave the heat at home.
Levi Strauss CEO Chip Bergh released an open letter Wednesday requesting that gun owners do not bring their firearms into any of their stores when shopping for jeans.
“Providing a safe environment to work and shop is a top priority for us at Levi Strauss & Co. That imperative is quickly challenged, however, when a weapon is carried into one of our stores,” he wrote in the letter. “Recently, we had an incident in one of our stores where a gun inadvertently went off, injuring the customer who was carrying it.”
Bergh, a former army officer, acknowledged that gun safety and gun rights are complex and divisive issues and that he has heard arguments from all sides of the debate. He decided to
“While we understand the heartfelt and strongly held opinions on both sides of the gun debate, it is with the safety and security of our employees and customers in mind that we respectfully ask people not to bring firearms into our stores, offices or facilities, even in states where it’s permitted by law,” he said.
Despite the fact that some sites, such as
“With that in mind we’ve made this decision as a business — a request not a mandate — and we sincerely hope responsible gun owners will respect our position,” he said.
Bergh said law enforcement members would be an exception. He explained that over the past year he has thought about safety more than in the previous three decades of his career. Levi’s has stores in Paris, Nice and Orlando, and its European headquarters are in Brussels. In 2016, all of those cities have been victims of terrorism.
The National Rifle Association, the country’s most influential pro-gun lobby, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.