By Janet Ekstract February 23, 2018
NEW YORK- American consumers have been instrumental in motivating large corporations to rethink their positioning with regard to their ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Many are calling it a “pivotal moment” for American gun law reform as the NRA is now the target of intense backlash from activists and survivors of the latest mass shooting that left 17 dead in Parkland, Florida.
The fact that the NRA was quoted in the mainstream press as claiming that the American media “love mass shootings and the ratings they supposedly bring,” did not help their image one bit.
Now, major corporations are faced with the hard reality: support the powerful pro-gun lobby or cut ties.
It may not be common knowledge to many that the NRA partners with a slew of businesses to promote its pro-gun messages and provides a variety of discounts to its members who are estimated to be around five million.
Consumer pressure was the deciding factor this week that created a major turning point in the saga, causing some companies to drop the pro-gun organization from their discount programs.
First National Bank of Omaha announced Thursday that it would quit issuing NRA-branded Visa credit cards when its contract with the NRA expires while Enterprise Holdings known for its rental car brands, Enterprise, National and Alamo said it will end its discount program for NRA members in March along with Avis, Budget and Hertz.
Other firms on board with dropping the NRA include Chubb for NRA firearms insurance, Symantec’s Lifelock, the identity theft prevention service and Norton, which offers computer security software. In addition, SimpliSafe, Allied and North American Van Services have also decided to drop the NRA services and MetLife has also joined the list of corporations discontinuing insurance discounts to its NRA members.
Meanwhile, huge conglomerates like Amazon and Apple have not shown any inclination to discontinue their NRA apps. But two gun safety groups Everytown and Moms Demand Action launched a campaign yesterday, demanding that streaming services stop offering NRA TV.
Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts made this statement to the press: “NRA TV is home to the NRA’s most dangerous and violent propaganda.” She continued, “It’s time for tech leaders to acknowledge their NRA spread this dangerous content and cut it out.”
A Change.org petition is aiming to get NRA TV pulled from Amazon. Both AT&T and Apple both currently carry the NRA TV app also.
Additional companies that offer NRA discounts include Clearent, a credit card processing firm that offers “firearms friendly” services geared toward NRA members, FedEx, which offers discounts on shipping charges to NRA members. Also, Google offers NRA TV through its Google Chromecast and HotelPlanner is charged with powering the NRA’s travel discount site and they announced they plan to honor their contract with the NRA.
Other firms who refused to comment on their future relationship with the NRA include ManageUrlD, MidwayUSA, NetSpend, Omni Hotels, Roku is a video streaming service that makes NRA TV available to viewers. TrueCar and Vinesse Wines and YouTube where NRA TV can also be viewed – did not yet make any public comments regarding whether they might cut ties with the NRA.
The NRA is affiliated with a number of local businesses in a variety of U.S. cities and it remains to be seen as to whether consumers opposed to the NRA’s pro-gun attitudes will ultimately be the deciding factor in this organization’s fall from grace