Salesforce, a cloud-based software company which earns the bulk of its revenue from its customer-relationship management (CRM) service, publicly announced today that it was banning retailers that sell certain guns and ammunition from using its sales management software.
The policy was actually put into place back in April, but today was the first day the policy was made public. Here is how the policy reads on its web site:
Worldwide, customers may not use a Service to transact online sales of any of the following firearms and/or related accessories to private citizens. Firearms: automatic firearms; semi-automatic firearms that have the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any of the following: thumbhole stock, folding or telescoping stock, grenade launcher or flare launcher, flash or sound suppressor, forward pistol grip, pistol grip (in the case of a rifle) or second pistol grip (in the case of a pistol), barrel shroud; semi-automatic firearms with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 rounds; ghost guns; 3D printed guns; firearms without serial numbers; .50 BMG rifles; firearms that use .50 BMG ammunition. Firearm Parts: magazines capable of accepting more than 10 rounds; flash or sound suppressors; multi-burst trigger devices; grenade or rocket launchers; 80% or unfinished lower receivers; blueprints for ghost guns; blueprints for 3D printed guns; barrel shrouds; thumbhole stocks; threaded barrels capable of accepting a flash suppressor or sound suppressor.
A Salesforce spokesperson said the change affects new customers and a small number of existing customers when their current contracts expire.
The pressure Salesforce is exerting on those retailers — barring them from using its technology to market products, manage customer service operations and fulfill orders — puts them in a difficult position. As one example, Camping World, which sells guns, spends more than $1 million a year on Salesforce’s e-commerce software, according to one analyst estimate. Switching to another provider now could cost the company double that to migrate data, reconfigure systems and retrain employees.
I applaud Salesforce’s decision to take a stand on gun control, since it seems as if not much is being done by our legislatures.
Salesforce joins a list of companies that have taken a stand on gun control:
- Amazon: prohibits the listing or sale of all firearms, including assault weapons, black powder guns, handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, rifles, and starter guns.
- ebay: Actual firearms can’t be listed on eBay.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods: earlier his year, Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would pull guns and ammunition off the shelves of 125 of its 720 stores
- Shopify: last year this shopping platform used by more than 600,000 businesses to sell their goods, said it will no longer allow them to sell some firearms and parts.
- Walmart: ended the sales of military-style firearms in 2015, and last year it raised the minimum age for purchasing firearms and ammunition from 18 to 21.
- Levi Strauss: pledged more than $1 million in September to support nonprofits and youth activists working to end gun violence.
- Tom Shoes: in November, pledged $5 million to organizations working to end gun violence
- United Airlines, Delta Airlines, MetLife, and Hertz: stopped giving NRA members discounts
- Citigroup: prohibits the sale of firearms to customers who have not passed a background check or who are younger than 21. It also bars the sale of bump stocks and high-capacity magazines. It would apply to clients who offer credit cards backed by Citigroup or borrow money, use banking services or raise capital through the company.
Many of these companies are taking such a stand despite knowing it could alienate some of its customers and hurt their sales.
I’m a firm believer that companies should have a higher purpose than just maximizing their profits; they also have a social responsibility to make the world a better place.
And that’s what they are doing with these gun control initiatives.
I hope their actions get more companies to implement similar policies, and I plan to show my support by being a loyal customer of these companies.