Whistleblower: Guns.com issues vaccine mandate for all employees, including remote workers
Editors’ note: Armed American News received this exclusive statement from an employee of Guns.com who wishes to remain anonymous out of fear of losing their job. After we verified the whistleblower’s employment, we contacted Guns.com for comment. Their response is included at the end of this story.
Guns.com, one of the industry’s top websites for gun-related news, reviews, and a not-too-new firearm and accessory marketplace, has recently implemented a Covid-19 vaccine mandate for all employees, including remote workers. While the move has been seen as forward-thinking by some, others aren’t so convinced that it was such a smart move.
The company announced their decision the last day of September in a company-wide email that was sent out less than an hour before close-of-day. The company, which just celebrated its 10-year anniversary, is mandating that all employees provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination before November 15. Without it, employment with Guns.com will be terminated as of that date.
While two exceptions are provided — or rather applications for exemption — some employees have little faith in them. The medical exemption, for example, provides a list of conditions which are not considered valid reasons for opting out of the Covid vaccine. This includes any autoimmune disorder. Just to reiterate, even if you are immune compromised, Guns.com still requires you to get the jab. And then there’s a religious exemption, which has historically been a “can’t touch this” kind of document. The Guns.com religious exemption wants employees to identify and explain their sincerely held religious beliefs which preclude the vaccine, in addition to indicating whether you have asked for such an exemption from previous employers, the outcome of that exemption, and the company with which the religious exemption was submitted. They also require you to explain “whether you are opposed to all vaccines, and if not, the religious basis on which you object to the Covid-19 vaccine in particular (as opposed to other vaccines).”
And let’s not forget, these aren’t just straightforward exemptions either. They are applications for exemption, meaning they can be denied. So, who gets to decide which applications for exemption are accepted and rejected? Ultimately, the forms will be sent to a legal counsel, who will determine the legal basis for acceptance or rejection. But first, the exemption forms are sent to the Guns.com “Exemption Committee” to check for “completeness.” This committee includes those responsible for drafting the vaccine policy. So, whether the exemptions are approved or denied, the upper-level management who wanted the mandate in the first place, will know each and every employee who opposes it.
Applications for exemption must be turned in before October 15, and employees should know whether their exemptions are approved before the last week of October. This gives employees opting out of the jab two things — time to change their minds before the November 15 deadline; and time to use up any excess PTO before they get fired, since any remaining PTO is use-it-or-lose-it and will not be paid out. And for those employees who opt to get the vaccine, they are not only given paid time off for scheduling the injection and recovery time to follow, they will also receive a bonus. Salary employees get a one-time $500 bonus, and while there’s no official documentation that’s gone out, the buzz around the water cooler is that hourly employees will get an ongoing $3/hour raise — more than $6,000 yearly.
Many newer employees are pissed, while some long-term employees are heartbroken and distraught. All of this seems a bit surreal, especially given the industry in which Guns.com belongs. Gun people are a different breed of people. They understand what freedom means, and they understand how important freedom is in a country that was founded on the principles of freedom. So, how can a company that makes a profit from those who stand for freedom and Second Amendment rights continue to, in good faith, reel in money while stripping their employees of the rights over their own bodies? Maybe because it was never about guns all along, but rather more about money.
Editors’ note: The following statement is from Guns.com CEO and Chief Marketing Officer Greg Minkler:
Thank you for reaching out. There is no comment on your inquiry.
Mark Walters is the host of two national radio broadcasts, Armed American Radio’s Daily Defense and flagship Armed American Radio, he is the co-founder of AAN, author of three books, and member of the board of directors of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA). Mark is the CEO of parent company CCW Broadcast Media, LLC