Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
Retail

Levi Strauss Tells Customers: Leave Your Guns at Home

“You shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes.”

Levi Strauss & Co., that sartorial emblem of America, its mythologized West, and the gun-toting cowboys who swaggered there, would like you to keep your firearms out of its stores. Even in states where it’s legal, the company’s CEO told shoppers.

Levi’s Chief Executive Officer Chip Bergh expressed concern about maintaining a safe shopping environment for consumers at hundreds of Levi stores across America. The 163-year-old jean seller isn’t banning guns from its premises outright, he said in a note published on LinkedIn Wednesday, because “trying to enforce a ban could potentially undermine the purpose of the ban itself: safety.”

“It boils down to this: you shouldn’t have to be concerned about your safety while shopping for clothes or trying on a pair of jeans,” he wrote. “Simply put, firearms don’t belong in either of those settings.”

Bergh wrote that he’s thought more about in-store safety because of the mass attacks in Paris, Nice, and Orlando. He also cited a recent incident in which a customer’s gun inadvertently fired inside a Levi store in Commerce, Ga. Firearms cause an “unsettling environment” when brought into stores, he wrote, expressing his hope that gun owners will abide by its request.

“In the end, I believe we have an obligation to our employees and customers to ensure a safe environment and keeping firearms out of our stores and offices will get us one step closer to achieving that reality,” wrote Bergh.

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