For a leisurely shopping day, some people bring along a tote, others … a firearm. Just ask Levi’s CEO Chip Bergh, who wrote an open letter to his customers asking them to kindly leave their guns at home when they go shopping for denim in the label’s stores.
“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,” Bergh wrote in a post on LinkedIn. “Recently, we had an incident in one of our stores where a gun inadvertently went off, injuring the customer who was carrying it.”
Bergh stresses in his letter that this is not an outright ban on guns, just a simple request to be mindful and perhaps keep the rifle in the car or on the gun rack, as opposed to bringing it in the store. Bergh also cites the attacks in Paris, Orlando, and Nice, France, saying that the tragedies in those three cities have made him more aware about safety. “So, 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. Of course, authorized members of law enforcement are an exception.”
Bergh’s ultimate point? “You shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans. Simply put, firearms don’t belong in either of those settings.”
Naturally, Bergh’s letter was met with outrage from gun lovers on social media who feel that a gun is a necessary accessory for jeans shopping.
— red (@kotuzak) November 30, 2016
Levi’s has decided, it doesn’t want law abiding citizens, with a legal right to carry, to carry while in their stores. #boycottlevis
— William Ethan Payne (@ethan1655) December 1, 2016
— Mark W. Engelhardt (@sharkme73) December 1, 2016
Talk about not knowing your market. Liberal elitists, college preppy’s, refugees & illegals don’t wear Levi Strauss jeans. #BoycottLevis
— Kenneth Tragob (@antikoolaid) December 1, 2016
— Carrie ❤️America???????? (@carrieksada) November 30, 2016
— John Dickson (@JohnnyD801) December 1, 2016
Some people applauded the CEO, saying that he is just trying to make his stores safe for everyone to shop in.
— StillMe (@StillABadAss) December 1, 2016
love Levis and will be buying more now. Taking A Stance On Weapons In Our Stores – Levi Strauss https://t.co/qj0T57gABN
— Debra McLoughlin (@DBMcLoughlin) December 1, 2016
https://t.co/XvGgPLWF9x // Guns while shopping is ridiculous and makes me very uncomfortable. Thank you, Levi’s.
— Jami J (@jamij2370) December 1, 2016
I think it’s time for new pair of Levis for everyone on my Xmas list. https://t.co/YgW8VBVqLM
— Andy Proctor (@BadAndy924) December 1, 2016
What do you think? Is the CEO trying to discriminate against gun owners, or is he just concerned for the safety of his customers?