The Newtown, Connecticut-based advocacy group Sandy Hook Promise says it supports jeans maker Levi Strauss’s plan to donate more than $1 million to gun violence prevention groups.
Co-founder Nicole Hockley, the mother of Dylan Hockley, who died in the shooting, said, “For Levi Strauss to stand up and say, ‘Hey, you know, we’ve taken on difficult issues before, we’ve paid a bit of a price for it but we stand by what we believe is the right thing to do,’ that should inspire other corporations to come forward as well and stand for what they believe is the right thing to do…It’s far too easy to not engage in this issue for fear of being attacked by people who don’t share the same beliefs as you, but it’s more important to be courageous and stand up for what you believe in. And for Levi Strauss to say they’re going to support gun violence prevention is a major announcement.”
Sandy Hook Promise was founded after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting that killed 20 children and six educators. The group offers programs to teach the warning signs of gun violence, such as mental health issues and bullying.
Levi Strauss says its position was prompted by a 2016 incident in which a customer accidentally shot himself while trying on a pair of jeans. It also said employees were worried about customers carrying guns into stores. The company says along with giving money to gun violence prevention groups, it will work with other businesses to advocate for prevention and will encourage employees to make matching donations to prevention groups.