NRA backlash grows: United, Delta sever ties with gun lobby

Joy Montgomery
February 25, 2018

- Delta and United airlines have joined several large companies that pulled benefits offered to National Rifle Association members, following calls to boycott the organization following their response to the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.

Later Thursday, Enterprise Holdings, which owns and operates auto rental agencies Alamo, Enterprise and National, announced via tweets from each brand's account that by March 26 it would sever its NRA member discount program.

At least 17 companies have now announced publicly that they will no longer offer discounts to NRA members.

Prior to this announcement, the NRA convention website said that the group had "contracted special flight discounts with United Airlines and Delta Airlines, specifically for members attending the NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibits".

By Friday, the list of defectors expanded to include Symantec Corp, which ended an discount program for its LifeLock identity theft product.

Credit the activists who have decided enough is enough and taken to social media to tell companies that have worked out deals and discounts with the uncompromising gun lobby that they will boycott them if their professional relationships continue.

Also Friday, Wyndham Worldwide, parent company of major hotel brands including Travelodge, Howard Johnson, Ramada and Days Inn, tweeted that it "is no longer affiliated with the NRA".

Hertz said it would stop offering discounts to NRA members.

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The two carriers have also requested to have their information removed from the NRA's website. The NRA, which has long used campaign donations and effective lobbying to hold outsized political influence, argues that stricter gun control would erode individual rights.

The measures come after 17 people were shot dead by a lone gunman at a high school in Florida this week.

On the other end of the spectrum, former Obama advisor David Axelrod tweeted, "Maybe there is more promise in developments such as these than relying on a Congress in the thrall of the gun industry". People then started posting comments on the social media platforms of numerous companies urging them to take action. Though a spokesperson said the company had notified the NRA three months ago of its plans to end its involvement. Just as ending the agreements will risk sparking anger among conservative supporters, it could attract customers who had previously felt they could not part with their cash to a company that supported one of the most powerful but divisive organizations in the U.S. This is why they are directly severing ties but allowing for third-parties to make their own choices, commenting: "Visa has no contractual or financial relationship with the NRA". The company has not said more about its decision.

The group that controls Enterprise, National, and Alamo rental-car offices said in a statement it has "ended the discount for NRA members".

The president of the Florida teachers union has called for the fund to divest itself of shares.

At a CNN town hall on Wednesday, they urged elected officials to act and sparred with NRA representative Dana Loesch.

"The NRA will back it and so will Congress", Trump contended as he called for raising the legal age of purchase for "all" guns from 18 to 21.

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