In the wake of the horrific school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members in Parkland, Florida, there’s been a growing public backlash against gun manufacturers and the organizations that support them. It now appears that this public sentiment has led directly to a number of prominent American companies severing ties with the National Rifle Association, according to ABC News.
This movement first got its wings when First National Bank of Omaha, the nation’s largest private bank, announced on Feb. 22 that they were cutting the NRA off by ending a program that offered co-branded Visa credit cards. After the Nebraska bank made its decision public, others quickly followed suit. United Airlines, Delta Air Lines, MetLife, Best Western, and a slew of car rental companies are among the other prominent American corporations that announced they would be terminating the special discounts and benefits they had once offered to NRA members.
“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” First National Bank of Omaha said in the statement that set off the anti-NRA firestorm. “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 subsequent companies used a mix of strategies to distance themselves from the NRA. United decided to end a discount it had offered for traveling to the NRA’s annual meeting; Delta ended discounted rates for group travel for NRA members. The car rental companies Enterprise, Hertz, Avis, and Budget similarly ended their discount programs. Best Western and Wyndham Hotels both made a point of announcing publicly that they are not affiliated with the gun lobbying organization.
The NRA, meanwhile, has responded harshly to the companies that are severing ties with them, calling the move “shameful” and insisting that the gun lobby was not to blame for the school shooting in Florida.
“The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System, or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement,” the organization said in a statement.