Some of the country’s biggest landlords and developers have thrust themselves into perhaps the most contentious national debate: gun control.
Brookfield Property Group’s Ric Clark is among 145 CEOs urging Senate leaders to expand background checks on all guns sales and pass stronger “red flag” laws, which would limit sales to potentially dangerous people.
“Doing nothing about America’s gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable,” the CEOs wrote in the letter, which was shared with the New York Times.
Other prominent real estate figures to sign the letter include RXR Realty’s Scott Rechler and Thrive Capital’s Joshua Kushner, brother of White House advisor and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner. Brian Chesky of Airbnb, Sarah Friar of Nextdoor, Gary Beasley of Roofstock, Dan Doctoroff of Sidewalk Labs, Yashar Nejati of thisopenspace and Aaron Block of MetaProp also signed.
With $8 billion in annual revenue, Brookfield is one of New York’s biggest property owners with 17.5 million square feet, according to an analysis by The Real Deal. The company did not immediately return a call for comment.
Rechler has spoken out on gun laws before. In February, he joined the CEOs of TOMS shoes, Levi Strauss and Dick’s Sporting Goods in sending a letter calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to pass stricter background checks for gun buyers. “I find it important for CEOs to take a greater level of social responsibility,” Rechler was quoted as saying at the time.
The letter comes a week after Walmart — whose El Paso location was the site of a deadly shooting last month — said it would stop selling certain guns and ammunition, and urged lawmakers to reauthorize a ban on assault weapons. Kroger, CVS, Walgreens and Wegmans have changed their open-carry policies.
Other prominent signatories of Thursday’s letter were the leaders of Twitter, Uber and Levi Strauss. Apple, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo were all absent from the list.
The last time big business weighed in on politics was over President Trump’s immigration policy and his response to protests by white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va. At the time, real estate players largely remained silent.