Will Racke, DCNF
Delta and United airlines said Saturday they are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association, the latest major corporations to end partnerships with the gun rights group in the wake of the Parkland, Fla., school shooting.
Both companies will stop offering discounted fares to NRA members attending the group’s annual meetings. They have also asked the group to remove any references to the airlines from its website.
“Delta is reaching out to the National Rifle Association to let it know that the airline will be ending its contract for discounted fares for travel to the association’s annual meeting through Delta’s group travel program,” Delta said in a statement. “The company will request that the NRA remove Delta’s information from its meeting website. ”
United issued a similar statement on Twitter:
“United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website,” the company said.
United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— United Airlines (@united) February 24, 2018
Delta and United join several other prominent brands who are dissociating themselves from the NRA under pressure from some customers and political leaders, who say the group bears responsibility for America’s mass shooting problem. Earlier this week, three major car rental companies — National, Enterprise and Alamo — announced they would end their discounts for NRA members effective March 26.
Other companies that are cutting or reducing ties include MetLife, Symantec, and First National Bank of Omaha, which previously offered the “official credit card of the NRA.”
After the Parkland shooting, lawmakers and gun control advocates accused the NRA of blocking changes to gun laws, particularly tighter restrictions on AR-15 style rifles. Accused Parkland gunman Nikolas Cruz allegedly used an AR-15 to kill 17 people during the Feb. 14 incident at Stoneman Douglas High School.
The political backlash against the NRA has been especially sharp after the Parkland massacre, due in part to highly publicized rallies and speeches by Stoneman Douglas students denouncing the group. During a Wednesday town hall meeting hosted by CNN, some audience members called NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch a “murderer” as she was answering questions from Stoneman Douglas student Emma Gonzalez.
The NRA says it is being unfairly scapegoated for the shooting. The organization says the blame lies with an inadequate national background check system and local and federal law enforcement, who were warned on multiple occasions that Cruz was a threat.
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