Sprint donated $25,000 against the Prop. B campaign. Three years later, they have finally spoken on the topic. One of their customers, D. Dean Johnson, a Sprint customer who supports right-to-carry laws, sent them his comments, resulting in a response. Here is Johnson's comment:
It Will Avoid Gun-Carry Issues in the Future
By D. Dean Johnson
March 29, 2002
The Sprint telecommunications corporation now says that it "does not expect" to be involved in opposing concealed-carry laws in the future, as it did in Missouri in 1999.
In 1999, Sprint's political action committee donated $25,000 to a campaign to defeat a proposed Missouri right-to-carry law, which appeared on the ballot for voter approval under the title "Proposition B." The proposition was narrowly defeated after the opposition grossly distorted its actual provisions. Some of the misinformation was propagated at taxpayer expense by the Clinton Administration's Justice Department.
In early 2002, I learned of Sprint's 1999 donation. Although I don't live in Missouri, Sprint is my own long-distance carrier, so I wrote to Sprint to protest. After an initially evasive reply, I received an e-mail response explaining that Sprint opposed the right-to-carry law "chiefly for two reasons: concern for the safety of employees in our respective workplaces and the safety of children in schools."
In subsequent communications to and with various Sprint executives and directors, I argued that the evidence from states that already have right-to-carry laws does not support the offensive suggestion that concealed-carry permit holders would pose a threat to Sprint employees or to school children. Besides, Proposition B explicitly empowered any business to post its property to deny access to persons (including non-employees) with concealed weapons, and explicitly prohibited any permitholders from carrying in schools and several other types of buildings.
Ultimately, I received a letter signed by Judith Gadd, Sprint's Director of Government Affairs, dated March 26, 2002. A copy of this letter is available on www.moccw.org/sprint.html [see below].
To summarize the letter: Ms. Gadd noted that Sprint has its global headquarters in Kansas City, and that many of its employees live or work in Missouri. She indicated that Sprint participated in the 1999 anti-B campaign after the two main local business organizations, the Chamber of Commerce and the Civic Council, came out against the proposition.
Ms. Gadd went on: "Since that time, Sprint has not participated financially or through lobbying on concealed-carry initiatives. For example, Sprint was not involved in any way in the action taken last week in the Missouri House on transportation of concealed weapons. Our business is selling the best telecommunications services possible, not taking positions for or against gun carry laws. Sprint does not expect to become involved in such issues in the future. Of course, we will continue to review all future initiatives from the perspective of employee safety -- having a safe place to live and work. The input you contributed will be useful in that regard."
Thus, while Sprint does not say that it regards its 1999 intervention as a mistake, the letter does suggest that the corporation now plans to maintain a neutral stance on such issues. Pro-self-defense forces in Missouri and elsewhere should keep an eye on Sprint to see if the corporation indeed avoids "taking positions for or against gun carry laws" in the future.
The letter is available in two formats: PDF and plain text.
Please, please always be polite in all
communications to Sprint or any other donor to defeat Prop. B.
Click here for tips on communicating with businesses who opposed
For further information, see our website at www.moccw.org or send email to .