UPDATE: Businesses across the United States are dropping their affiliation programs with the National Rifle Association in the wake of a school shooting that occurred last month in Parkland, Florida. Beyond the NRA, however, some companies are taking action against others that have continued to have a strong relationship with the gun lobbyist organization.
FedEx made headlines when it decided it would not end an affiliate program that allowed NRA members significant discounts when it shipped with the mailing carrier company. The explanation given by FedEx was dubious, at best, stating that it “will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views.”
But ending its affiliate program with the NRA wouldn’t discriminate against its members — rather, it would end a discounting program, effectively making the rates that NRA customer pay equal to those who do not count themselves as members of the organization.
The real reason why the company may be reluctant to end its affiliate program is because FedEx secretly has exclusive shipping deals with gun dealers, bending internal organization rules for sellers and the NRA itself according to a document obtained by ThinkProgress. While the public policy of FedEx is to ship guns and other weapons overnight, some gun dealers have been privately granted priority shipping, allowing these rules to be relaxed in many instances.
As a result of its refusal to end ties with the NRA, and perhaps due to this secretive arrangement with gun dealers and the gun lobby, some other companies have decided to cut ties with FedEx itself.
World of Wonder, a production company behind shows like Ru Paul’s Drag Race and Million Dollar Listing, announced it would no longer use FedEx as a mail carrier service. “We support the call to boycott the NRA by no longer using FedEx for our company’s shipping needs,” company co-founder Randy Barbato said.
ICM Partners, a Hollywood talent agency, also announced it would sever its ties to the mail carrier service, although it did not release an official statement about the decision.
Still, it’s clear that something big is happening. Those who side with the NRA, and who make exceptions for dealers and lobbyists determined to loosen gun laws rather than strengthen regulations, are seeing economic consequences for their choices.
And rightly so: gun laws are in serious need of revision in the U.S. Whether FedEx, or other businesses, decide to agree with that or not is irrelevant. The American people are ready for reform...and they plan to speak with their pocketbooks.
UPDATE: Private postage delivery company FedEx is taking a lot of heat for its continued cooperation with the National Rifle Association.
While the NRA uses postal giant UPS for its company’s deliveries, FedEx does offer NRA members a large discount for choosing to use its services over its competitors. The discount amounts to a 26 percent reduction in fees when NRA members use FedEx.
UPS, while being the preferred company of the NRA, doesn’t offer a discount to its members.
In the wake of a recent mass shooting at a high school in Florida many companies have signaled they would no longer do business-to-business deals with the NRA or its members. But FedEx has held onto the discount program, defending it in an oddly-worded press release that suggested taking a different route would be undue discrimination against the gun lobbyist organization.
“FedEx is a common carrier under Federal law and therefore does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views,” their statement read.
But no one is asking FedEx to deny service to the NRA or its members. The discount program, if discontinued, would not be an illegal action.
This statement makes no sense. FedEx is charging businesses that are members of the NRA lower rates than non-members. Now it’s saying charging NRA members the same as everyone else would be discrimination. https://t.co/ukww3hW0Xa— Judd Legum (@JuddLegum) February 26, 2018
Many companies across the United States have taken the right and honorable step in distancing themselves from the NRA. Doing so requires courage, honors the victims of gun violence, and sends a strong signal that these companies have no interest in doing business with an organization that stands for loosening gun laws at the expense of our children’s lives.
FedEx has taken a different approach, however. It’s their right, of course, to stand by the NRA if they so choose. But their official statement about the deal they have with NRA members demonstrates something deeper — that they take the American people for fools. It will likely wind up costing the carrier company in the long run.
Several companies who have entered into agreements with the National Rifle Association (NRA) have decided to part ways with the gun lobbyist organization following the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida.
The nation’s largest privately owned bank, the First National Bank of Omaha, has ended its contract with the NRA. The bank had previously been a large supplier of credit cards to customers, allowing them to select the NRA logo as the image on their method of payment.
But customer complaints have led the bank to end that relationship.
“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” the bank said in a statement to HuffPost. “As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”
The bank wasn’t the only organization to end its partnership with the NRA. Enterprise Holdings, the parent company for car rental businesses Enterprise, Alamo, and National, also said that it was ending its relationship with the lobbyist organization starting in late March.
In response to calls to boycott Enterprise, the company tweeted out it had discontinued a co-branding program it previously had with the NRA.
We ended the program – effective March 26. CM— EnterpriseRentACar (@enterprisecares) February 23, 2018
Computer security company Symantec has also ended its partnership program with the NRA. Previously, card-carrying members of the NRA could qualify for discounts from the software company.
“Symantec has stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association,” the organization told The Verge on Friday.
They did not elaborate on why they decided to end the partnership.
It’s pretty clear why these companies are severing ties with the NRA — and why more will do so in the days ahead.
The NRA has successfully lobbied for legislation that has loosened gun laws and fought against proposals that would regulate stricter ownership rules. Many Americans are understandably upset with the stranglehold the gun lobby group has on many legislators, preventing meaningful legislation from being passed.
Indeed, 51 percent of the public feels that the NRA supports policies that are bad for the nation, according to a recent poll. That same poll found more than two-thirds of Americans support a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 used in last week’s shooting.
Americans are waking up to the fact that the NRA does not have their interests at heart. Right now, companies are making the right moves to end their relationships with the lobbyist group. How long will it take for political leaders in Washington and elsewhere to realize they should make the same moves?