National Women's Group Holds Vigil in Bay Area, Demands Visa to Block Sales of Assault Weapons

UltraViolet, a leading national women's group, held a candlelit vigil and light projection outside of Visa headquarters in Foster City Thursday demanding the company to refuse sales from retailers who sell assault weapons.

The online community made up of women and men also projected the names of some recent deadly shootings along with the amount of people murdered and injured. They projected Las Vegas music festival: 58 murdered, 422 injured, Pulse Nigh Club: 49 murdered, 58 injured, Sandy Hook Elementary School: 27 murdered, 2 injured, Sutherland Springs First Baptist Church: 25 murdered, 20 injured and the most recent, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School: 17 murdered, 14 injured.

At the bottom of their list read, "Visa can and should stop these killings. Block sales of assault weapons now."

On their website, they highlight that since the Parkland, Florida shooting, 24 companies have cut ties with the NRA, PayPal and Apple even banning the purchase of firearms using their services, but other credit card companies like Visa and MasterCard haven’t.

Vida recently issued a statement saying they "do not believe Visa should be in the position of setting restrictions on the sale of lawful goods and services," rejecting customer calls to bock assault weapons sales.

UltraViolet argues that it is up to credit card companies like Visa to slow down the sales of assault weapons if Washington continues to fail to implement gun control laws.

"Visa customers are demanding the company prioritize lives over profits, but these calls to action have fallen on deaf ears," said Nita Chaudhary, Co-founder of UltraViolet. "Visa can curb the sales of assault weapons and has a responsibility to act — that is why we are projecting the death toll of the last decade's worst mass shootings right on their headquarters. We cannot wait for the next mass shooting for the company to take action and end business with retailers that sell these weapons of mass murder."

According to The New York Times, companies have the power to ban these sales but they won’t act unless customers demand it.

UltraViole has also started a petition with over 144,000 signatures and they have delivered an open letter signed by over 700 survivors of domestic violence asking Visa to make a change.

The letter is addressed to Visa President Alfred Kelly Jr., Mastercard President Ajaypal Singh Banga, and other credit card companies and it reads, "We write to you as survivors of domestic violence. We are disproportionately impacted by gun violence, including mass shootings, and we want you to take action to curb the sale of assault weapons."

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