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Salesforce staff back an end to its relationship with NRA

Texas school shooting should prompt a rethink in commercial ties with powerful gun-lobby group, workers urge management

Around 4,000 Salesforce staff have signed an open letter calling for the CRM giant to stop working with the National Rifle Association, the powerful US gun-lobby organisation.

The calls to senior management at Salesforce come in the wake of the 24 May school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, which left 19 children and two adults dead.

The letter sent to co-CEOs Marc Benioff and Bret Taylor, CFO Amy Weaver, and CMO Sarah Franklin has attracted more than 4,000 signatories, according to reports.

"It's not in our power to get background checks or other gun control measures passed by Congress – but we can effect change by ending our commercial relationship with our customer, the National Rifle Association," the open letter said.

While the tragedy was followed by calls for tighter regulation of firearms in the US, the NRA has opposed such legislation.

Salesforce workers said the NRA used its cloud based CRM software to push marketing and fundraising. "It is unconscionable to consider their use of Marketing Cloud to capitalize on mass shootings," the letter said.

"Based on past history, it is likely the NRA is already upping, or preparing to up, their Marketing Cloud usage in response to this tragedy, not to prevent future tragedies from happening, but to sow fear, sell guns, and abet future atrocities," the letter continued.

On 26 May, Benioff tweeted: "27 school shootings in US this year. 0 in Japan. 0 in UK. 0 in France. 0 in Germany. 0 in Australia. American kids pleading with us to help. How do we protect our 2nd amendment & our kids at the same time? Can we raise our age limit to 21? Can we ban assault weapons? What else?"

Speaking at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos last week, Benioff also backed direct action to help prevent a repeat of school shootings in the United States.

Salesforce's ethical use policy says safety is paramount. "We aim to protect humans from direct harm from the use of our technology," it says.

The Register has asked Salesforce to comment.

Opening its annual conference last Friday, the NRA said in a statement that convention attendees would "reflect on" the attack and "pledge to double our commitment to making schools secure." ®

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