More than a dozen companies have severed their relationships with the National Rifle Association following calls to boycott companies that do business with the pro-gun lobby group.
The tragic deaths of 17 students in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School. brought renewed pressure on the NRA, which offers campaign donations and financial support to politicians who impede gun control legislation. Emma Gonzales, a bisexual Latinx activist and student at the Parkland, Fla. campus, called out the group in a speech delivered just days after the attack.
“Politicians who sit in their gilded House and Senate seats funded by the NRA telling us nothing could have been done to prevent this,” she said at a Feb. 14 rally in Fort Lauderdale. “We call B.S.”
After Gonzalez’s call to arms attracted national attention, the NRA’s partners began to cut ties with the organization this week.
On Thursday, the First National Bank of Omaha announced it would be discontinuing an NRA Visa card offered at its branches due to “customer feedback.” The Nebraska company stated it “will not renew its contract” in a tweet which has since been liked more than 2,000 times and retweeted over 700 times.
At least 16 companies have since announced they would no longer partner with the NRA as the hashtag #BoycottNRA became the number-one trending topic on Twitter.
These businesses include Alamo Rent a Car, Allied Van Lines, Avis, Best Western, Budget Rent-a-Car, Chubb, Enterprise Rent-a-Car, Hertz, MetLife, National Car Rental, Republic Bank, SimpliSafe, Symantec, and Wyndham Hotel Group, the latter of which oversees chains like Days Inn, Howard Johnson, and Travelodge.
Most brands announced the decision on social media.
“We ended the discount for NRA members,” claimed Enterprise Holdings in a Feb. 22 tweet. “This change will be effective March 26.”
Many companies, though, have yet to respond to outcry from customers over their alleged support for the lobby group. Life Insurance Central, Life Line Screening, Lockton, ManageURID Identity Protection, The Medical Concierge, Starkey Hearing Technologies, Truecar, Vinesse Wines, and Wild Apricot have not stated whether they would discontinue discounts and promotions offered to NRA members.
Amazon, Apple, Google, and Rokuwhich stream the NRATV networkhave likewise been urged to pull the plug on the channel. They have not said if they will do so.
At least one company has defied calls for that brands end their corporate arrangements with the NRA. The hotel web search engine HotelPlanner.com told Bloomberg on Friday it would continue to offer discounted rooms to its members.
“These associations greatly benefit our customers by buying discounted rooms from groups that might otherwise be charged a penalty by hotels for not using all of the rooms in their block,” said Hotel Planner Co-Founder Tim Hentschel, who noted that the company has similar arrangements with several entities.
Boycotts have been widely successful at encouraging political action in the past.
Indiana and North Carolina amended anti-LGBTQ lawsone a RFRA bill and the other transphobic bathroom legislationafter national outcry led to hundreds of millions in lost revenue for the states. South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard vetoed a bill identical to North Carolina’s over fears it would impact the state’s billion-dollar tourism industry.
NRA President Wayne LaPierre took aim at the boycotts in a speech delivered at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference lambasting the “breakneck speed” of demands for gun control laws following the Parkland shooting.
“As usual, the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for political gain,” he said.
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