NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch, addressing a conservative political conference, says “many in legacy media love mass shootings, you guys love it.” (Feb. 22)
Several businesses with ties to the National Rifle Association are breaking up with the group amid mounting pressure from gun-control proponents following the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.
Twitter users are using the hashtag #BoycottNRA to name companies that have ties to the NRA.
The movement has pressured some companies to discontinue discount programs for NRA members.
MetLife said it would stop providing discounts for auto and home insurance. “We value all our customers but have decided to end our discount program with the NRA,” the company told USA TODAY in a statement.
SimpliSafe, a home security services company, also ended its NRA promotions. “We have discontinued our existing relationship with the NRA,” CEO Chad Laurans said in a statement.
Rental car companies Hertz and Enterprise also ended their NRA discounts.
#BoycottNRA…companies being urged to cut ties with the gun rights group. Veuer’s Nick Cardona has that story.
The moves suggest the NRA is losing a degree of support in the corporate world amid a firestorm of criticism over the group’s support for gun rights despite recent killing sprees.
“Banks and other companies are sensitive to being on the wrong side of a social media campaign, which can spread pretty quickly these days,” said Erik Gordon, a University of Michigan business professor who has taught classes on marketing. “They don’t want to risk having people march or boycott.”
Still, Gordon said a widespread movement against NRA-affiliated companies was “unlikely” because most consumers don’t change their behavior based on political issues.
Two companies with headquarters in the Phoenix area are being targeted, Best Western and Lifelock.
Companies with ties to Arizona
Best Western responded to Twitter users saying, “Best Western Hotels & Resorts does not have an affiliation with and is not a corporate partner of the National Rifle Association.”
Michael Skolnik, a board member for the Trayvon Martin Foundation, mentioned the Arizona-based hotel chain in a tweet Friday. He said, “In the past 24 hours, these companies have ended their relationships with the @NRA: Best Western, Wyndham Hotels, Alamo Rent A Car, National Rent A Car, Enterprise Rent A Car, First National Bank of Omaha #BoycottNRA.”
According to Money Magazine, the Phoenix-based company ended its credit card program with the NRA in 2013.
The company has not released an official statement regarding a partnership with the organization.
Cybersecurity firm Symantec, which owns Tempe-based LifeLock, offered NRA discounts for its LifeLock identity theft protection service and Norton anti-virus software. The company told USA TODAY on Friday that it had “stopped its discount program with the National Rifle Association.”
The NRA did not respond to a request for comment. CEO Wayne LaPierre told the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday that “as usual the opportunists wasted not one second to exploit tragedy for gain,” adding that gun control advocates and the media “hate the NRA, they hate the Second Amendment, they hate individual freedom.”
ThinkProgress, a liberal website that describes itself as an editorially independent project of the Center for American Progress Action Fund, claimed credit for bringing attention to the corporate NRA connections.
Companies that offer discounts to NRA members are “making membership to the group, which opposes nearly all gun safety legislation, more enticing,” ThinkProgress wrote.
“Much like AARP or AAA, the organization promotes its discounts for members as a selling point for why people should join,” ThinkProgress wrote. “The ‘valuable 5-star benefits’ promised include not just a subscription to an NRA magazine and a gun-owner liability protection policy but also savings on insurance, identity theft protection, hearing aids, car rentals, moving vans, shipping, and even wine.”
The NRA Business Alliance lists hundreds of companies that offer discounts to the pro-gun-rights interest group’s millions of members. Many are small businesses, including apparel makers, attorneys, accounting services, sporting goods stores, storage companies and gun shops.
Other companies include:
FedEx. The NRA Business Alliance says on its website that it has “teamed up” with FedEx “to offer BIG savings” on the shipment giant’s services.
A FedEx spokesman was not available for comment.
Avis and Hertz. Like Enterprise, the competing car rental companies also offer discounts to NRA members. Representatives for both Avis and Hertz were not available to comment.
TrueCar. The online car-buying service says that NRA members save an average of nearly $3,400 off the retail price of new and used vehicles.
TrueCar representatives did not respond to a request seeking comment.
MetLife: The insurer had offered discounts to NRA members on auto and home policies.
SimpliSafe: The home security company had offered a special promotion to NRA members, but that ended Friday.
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