US companies have cut their ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA) as the powerful gun lobby comes under increasing pressure following the mass shooting in Florida last week.
A host of companies ranging from airlines to car rentals to hotel groups have joined the #BoycottNRA online campaign in the aftermath of the February 14 mass shooting that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.
United and Delta, two major airlines, announced this week that they were no longer offering discounted trips to NRA members.
Delta first tried to resist overwhelming pressure to call off its discounted flights for flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention in Dallas, Texas, this May, arguing the offer was “routine” for such large groups. But the company caved in on Saturday.
“Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website,” the company tweeted.
Car rental companies Hertz, Enterprise and Avis also announced this week that they were severing ties with the NRA and would no longer offer discounts to its members.
First National Bank of Omaha, one of America’s largest private banks, is said to be the first firm to join the boycott, announcing Thursday that it would discontinue its “NRA Visa Card” which gave NRA members 5-percent discounts on various commodities, including gas and sports gear.
Allied Van Lines along with North American Van Lines also said they would remove all discounted rates for NRA members.
MetLife, an insurance company, as well as hotel groups BestWestern and Wyndham have also ended their special services for the NRA.
More than a dozen of America’s larger corporations — representing the travel, software, insurance, banking and hospitality industries — had all abandoned the NRA.
Companies like Apple, Google, Amazon, and FedEx have also come under pressure from gun control supporters to boycott the NRA but have yet to make any move.
Gun control advocates are demanding members of the US Congress to pass gun control legislation, which has always been opposed and foiled by the NRA.
The Republican-controlled Congress last year revoked Obama-era regulations meant to make it harder for those with severe mental illness to pass FBI background checks for guns, saying the rule deprived the mentally ill of their gun rights.
Shameful display of cowardice: NRA hits back The NRA reacted to the wave of corporate boycott on Saturday afternoon, accusing the companies of staging “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.”
The organization insisted that it was not discouraged by the move.
“Let it be absolutely clear,” the NRA’s statement said. “The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world.”