The NRA’s Business Affiliates Are Dropping Like Flies
On Tuesday, Think Progress reported on a number of companies that offered discounts or perks to members of the National Rifle Association. The list—along with the activism from victims of last week’s high school mass shooting in Parkland—seemed to help prompt a Twitter boycott of some of those companies.
Less than a week later, that boycott has caused the vast majority of these companies to say that they are severing ties with the NRA.
The backlash has been such that the gun manufacturer lobbying group and association for gun enthusiasts has responded with a statement decrying these “cowardly” corporations. The NRA released a press release on Saturday, saying in part:
[S]ome corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve.
Let it be absolutely clear. 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.
The flood of fleeing companies began on Thursday when the First National Bank of Omaha said it would not renew a contract for its “NRA Visa Card.” On Saturday, United Airlines and Delta Airlines each said they were ending a contract for discounted rates for group travel for NRA members.
Here is a list of some of the companies that have publicly cut ties with the NRA in the past few days, according to Think Progress:
Avis and Budget
Allied Van Lines and NorthAmerican Van Lines
Enterprise, Alamo, and National
First National Bank of Omaha
Starkey Hearing Technologies
And here is a list of businesses that, as of Saturday evening, still had deals with the NRA, according to the Think Progress list:
Medical Concierge Network
Life Insurance Central
The direct advocacy against companies that offer discounts to NRA members has not been the only financial consequence of the wave activism in the wake of the Parkland shooting.
These discount providers, indeed, are not the lobbying group’s biggest corporate supporters. Those are obviously gun manufacturers.
Axios reported that Bank of America had taken one step to reconsidering its relationship with companies that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use. Bloomberg News, meanwhile, reported that BlackRock Inc. was considering limited steps to remove gun companies from certain investment portfolios for people who didn’t want to invest in them.
As Bloomberg News reported, for the financial industry to untangle itself from the gun industry would seemingly take a sea change:
More than $845 billion of U.S. institutional assets restricted investments were in weapons as of the start of 2016, according to data from US SIF, the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. That number soared more than 1,000 percent following the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012, from $74 billion at the start of 2012.
If the #BoycottNRA activism that has been so successful on Twitter in the past few days is going to have a lasting impact, the financial system is where these activists may have to try to turn next.
Originally Published on slate