March 18, 2018

Six US Companies Cut Ties With NRA

25 February 2018, 01:50 | Kenneth Drake

NRA vice president Wayne La Pierre speaks during CPAC 2018 in National Harbor Maryland

NRA vice president Wayne La Pierre speaks during CPAC 2018 in National Harbor Maryland

Two major airlines are the latest companies severing ties with the National Rifle Association - part of the mushrooming backlash the group is facing in the wake of the Parkland school massacre.

A handful of companies have ended discount programs with the NRA as the group aggressively resists calls for stricter gun control after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high school last week. The rental vehicle company ended its discount program for NRA members. Hertz, Avis Budget Group and TrueCar would soon join Enterprise and end their NRA discounts.

Other companies distancing themselves from the NRA include MetLife Inc., which discontinued its discount program with the NRA on Friday.

The exodus of corporate names, ranging from a major insurer to auto rental brands and a household moving company, occurred after the NRA launched a counter-offensive against a student-led campaign for tighter U.S. gun ownership laws.

Since Thursday, a wave of companies - including United and Delta airlines, Metlife and six vehicle rental brands - have abandoned the National Rifle Association.

In a letter sent to Scott on Saturday, Rep. Bill Hager cited the resignation of a school resource officer who didn't enter the freshman building at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when the shooting started on February 14.

The insurance firm Chubb said it had already stopped underwriting an NRA-branded insurance policy as of three months ago. The programme that provided coverage for people involved in gun-related incidents or accidents had been under scrutiny by regulators over marketing issues.

MetLife Inc. - The insurer terminated discounts that had been offered to NRA members on the NRA website Enterprise Holdings Inc.

First National Bank of Omaha said it would no longer do a NRA Visa card.

Bob Spitzer, a political scientist at SUNY Cortland, told the Associated Press that the potential impact on the national gun debate is unclear.

Since the shooting, students and their families have organised near-daily protests, demanding gun control reform.

"If this is as far as it goes, it probably won't have any measurable effect".

None of the companies gave details about why or when they chose to cut ties with the NRA, but the news comes as the hashtag #BoycottNRA has taken social media by storm.

Internet-security platform Symantec said it is dropping a discount program that let NRA members buy Symantec's LifeLock identity-theft service cheap, Reuters reported.

A year earlier, Starbucks made a similar statement after the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting. Still, it's another sign that American public opinion on guns may be shifting, and that the usual corporate impulse to avoid riling up firearm enthusiasts may be fading.

Some major endowments, such as the $10 billion University of California fund, sold guns stocks after the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting in CT, which prompted calls for more gun control. The public pressure just simply wasn't there to make a major change.

Vice President of the NRA Wayne LaPierre speaks during CPAC 2018 February 22, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland.

President Donald Trump's favors raising the age. Vague at first wanted the deal, but "morally resolute" colleagues brought the team "to a firm 'no, ' because of the assault-weapons issue", Vague said.

The financial stakes held by teacher pension funds in gun companies, like those of other equities, each represent only a sliver of the multibillion-dollar state retirement systems' investments, according to a Bloomberg analysis.

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