FedEx sticks with NRA, bucking corporate trend after Florida school shooting

Calvin Saunders
March 4, 2018

Global shipping company FedEx announced Monday that it will not discontinue shipping discounts for members of the National Rifle Association, despite pressure from customers and supporters of a movement to boycott the NRA and its business partners.

Metlife, Delta and more than a dozen others have chose to end benefits deals offered to the organization's members.

NRA chief executive Wayne LaPierre on Saturday labeled such decisions, involving at least 23 corporations, "a shameful display of political and civic cowardice". Each of them were men of character. In a New York Times op-ed Saturday, he called on Congress to ban the sale of military-style assault weapons and raise the minimum age for certain gun purchases from 18 to 21.

During the NRA's Atlanta convention in 2017, 60% of the 81,000 NRA members traveled more than 200 miles to attend, according to the organization's 2018 convention website. The statement went on to say the company has never provided any donations or sponsorships to the NRA.

First National Bank of Omaha - The bank announced that it would not renew a co-branded Visa credit-card with the NRA.

But of course we're not talking about FedEx denying service to NRA members or to the organization (which uses UPS at its online store) or discriminating against them. Others followed, including airlines, hotels and rental vehicle firms that had offered discounts to NRA members. While the company said it supports the constitutional right of USA citizens to own firearms, subject to appropriate background checks, it supports keeping assault rifles out of civilian hands.

Delta said Saturday it would end an NRA contract for discounted rates on flights to the group's annual meeting. But Anupam Jena, a health care policy researcher at Harvard Medical School, and Andrew Olenski, a Columbia University graduate student in economics, devised a clever strategy involving the NRA itself to test the oft-cited argument about gun safety. This is a relief, since gun reform advocates are also targeting Amazon and Apple to get them to cut ties with the NRA. MetLife and Chubb insurance companies followed suit, ending special NRA policies.

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NRA meetings tend to attract 80,000 or more people from across the US.

Major corporations have canceled their partnership deals with the National Rifle Association as consumer pressure mounts over the lobbying group's outsized influence over lawmakers. A spokesman with the company told Reuters it had given notice that it would stop participating in the program three months ago.

"Some customers have been approved for an exception to ship firearms with a 2-day (AM or PM) service", the document says.

Two hours later, United Airlines made a similar decision.

Cassie Kling, a spokesperson for the company, did not answer questions about why the company was withdrawing its affiliation to the gun group.

Allied Van Lines and North American Van Lines, along with security company Symantec, have also severed ties.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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