A growing number of corporate sponsors of the National Rifle Association appear to be terminating their relationship with the effective lobbying and gun-owners' membership organization. The NRA has been the focus of the ire of progressives, Democrats, and gun control advocates, especially since the mass shooting at a school in Florida last week. At the same time, new calls have emerged from a renewed anti-gun movement for further gun controls, tightened background checks. Gun control advocates massed at NRA's Washington DC headquarters on the weekend to protest against the organization.
Like many membership organizations, the NRA offers discounts for its members as part of its “5-star benefits” of membership. These include a subscription to the NRA magazine, a gun-owner liability protection policy, identity theft protection, car rentals, and other popular benefits. Some of these are offered through corporations that partner with the NRA.
ThinkProgress, a news and opinion website that is sponsored by the progressive Center for American Progress, recently polled more than twenty corporations about the benefits they offer to NRA members. According to ThinkProgress, four of the corporations terminated their relationship with the NRA after being contacted by the website. The Center for American Progress has a number of very powerful sponsors among corporations and individuals. Among them are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Ford Foundation, the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates, Rockefeller Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, AFSCME, and philanthropist George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
On its website, ThinkProgress mentioned that it had had success in the past in getting corporations to cut ties with the NRA:
- “In early 2013, weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting, ThinkProgress published a similar list. Since that time, several companies have discontinued their relationships with the pro-gun group. Following a grassroots pressure campaign led by the global advocacy group Avaaz.org, both Best Western and Wyndham hotels stopped offering an NRA discount.
- “‘We did end our discount with the NRA at the end of last year,’ Maire Griffin, Wyndham’s vice president of global communications, told ThinkProgress. ‘We no longer will offer this discount, period.’
- “A similar pressure campaign by a coalition of LGBTQ rights groups and gun violence prevention organizations began pressuring FedEx to do the same in 2016, but has not yet had success.”
Here are some companies that have recently decided to sever their relationship with the NRA, according to ThinkProgress:
First National Bank of Omaha tweeted on Tuesday that it will no longer offer its “official credit card of the NRA.”
Enterprise Holdings, which operates Enterprise, Alamo and National, announced on February 22 that all three car rental companies will end their discount program for NRA members on March 26.
Symantec announced it was cutting ties with the NRA. Symantec, the parent company of the LifeLock identity-theft prevention company, has severed its relationship with the NRA. Symantec also owns the the Norton anti-malware software.
The MetLife insurance company is discontinuing its discount for NRA members.
Chubb had underwritten until recently the NRA Carry Guard insurance for gun owners. On Friday, according to ThinkProgress, Chubb announced that would cease underwriting the branded insurance. According to Reuters news service, “Chubb gave notice three months ago of its plan to stop participating in the NRA insurance program.”
SimpliSafe had offered until recently two months of free SimpliSafe’s monitoring with the purchase of a home security system. ThinkProgress reported that it has discontinued its relationship with the NRA.
Teladoc had offered a discounted monthly rate for its telemedicine service for NRA members. That discount is no longer in effect, said ThinkProgress, according to ThinkProgress.
Companies that are still offering discounts and services to NRA are:
Avis and Budget
Allied Van Lines
NorthAmerican Van Lines
Starkey Hearing Technologies
Life Insurance Central
Medical Concierge Network
A separate program for businesses -- NRA’s Business Alliance -- receive additional benefits and discounts. These include:
Note: This article includes updated information.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.