BOSTON — Friday marks two years since the deadly high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, when 17 students and teachers were killed.
On Thursday, the parents of one of the Parkland victims were in Boston to team up with local leaders to launch a new initiative in their fight for universal background checks for gun owners.
And two of the state’s largest companies are joining the effort.
The FBI reported a record number of background checks connected to concealed carry permits and other gun permits. And now, advocates want businesses to pledge to support background checks.
It’s a new logo with the one of many faces of gun violence.
“Gun Safety Certified is going to be like the Good Housekeeping seal of approval or the recycling symbol," said John Rosenthal, of Stop Handgun Violence.
Massachusetts-based Stop Handgun Violence and Change The Ref have teamed up to create a corporate symbol to show support for universal background checks and what they call “other common sense gun safety policies.”
“Money talks in this country. I’ve learned that too, and this is exactly that,” said Manuel Oliver, whose son was killed in the Parkland shooting.
Designed by the parents of Parkland victim, Joaquin Oliver, the groups say over 200 businesses nationwide have expressed their support, including Bain Capitol and AirBNB.
“I think there’s a lot of business owners that do worry about their kids and gun violence a lot,” said David Hogg, a Parkland shooting survivor. “That’s understandable. They should. They should be worried. But I want them to know there is something you can do.”
The NRA has been very vocal about their opposition to universal background checks. They have an estimated 4.5 million members and the spending power to match.
Businesses with government contracts or in communities with an active gun culture could drive away customers.
The state chapter called the initiative: “A campaign by anti-civil rights groups that’s just another attempt to push forward policies that are already proven to fail."
Tripp Clemens, creative director of Windy Media, came to the advocates with the idea for the gun safety certified seal.
"There’s definitely a risk involved,” said Clemens.
He points to Nike’s backing of Colin Kaepernick and his platform: Black Lives Matter.
“People burned their sneakers, but there are a lot more people rushing to buy sneakers than there were people that burned their sneakers," said Clemens.
The Olivers think of it this way:
“You should be afraid of losing your kid. There’s no Chapter 11 or Chapter 7 that I can get away with the loss of my son," Manuel Oliver said.
A different solution has been active shooter trainings in schools.
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