Guns N’ Choices
Will Amazon react to the nationwide debate on gun control?
We’re officially witnessing the Hunger Games: Amazon Edition. The contenders for the $60.5 billion (sales) behemoth’s second North American headquarters are down from 238 to 20, with Toronto the only non-U.S. city to make the list. Now that only a handful of cities are in the running, the company is in the next phase of its selection process, evaluating each city’s merits.
The lucky winner — to be announced before the end of 2018 — has been promised $5 billion in capital investment and 50,000 tech jobs. Not to mention bragging rights. So a lot is at stake.
For these shortlisted cities, thinking creatively about real estate and attracting strong tech talent are table stakes. But here’s a question they also ought to be asking: How many of the states they’re in can really provide the “stable and business-friendly environment” that Amazon outlines as a core requirement?
As it turns out, there might not be too many.
Here are seven types of gun control enacted at the state level: red flag laws, relinquishment laws, assault weapons bans, high-capacity magazine bans, gun possession prohibitions for high-risk individuals, gun possession prohibitions for individuals with domestic violence convictions and mandatory background checks.
Only one city — Los Angeles, California — is in a state that enacts all seven. Others that rate fairly high on this basis are New York, Boston, Newark, Washington, D.C., and Montgomery County, Maryland.
The flipside is, as many as nine of the 20 locales chosen have three or fewer of such laws on the books. They are:
Raleigh, North Carolina
Some of the states in question are now considering how to toughen gun laws. But if Jeff Bezos plans to continue coasting on his company’s progressive reputation, he would be hard-pressed to ignore the current political climate and nationwide debate on lax gun laws. Will beefed-up gun control legislation factor into Amazon’s decision-making on where to locate its second HQ? Its customers may be watching.