Businesses Become Restless With NRA, Take Action Themselves

Alexander Andrews

Photo: – Alex Andrews

Finn Hogan and Elena Naze

In the wake of the Parkland shooting that took place on February 14th, several businesses and companies have announced their contribution to the discussion on gun law reformation. One of the more notable companies, Delta Airlines, had major repercussions as a result of their statement.

Around March 2nd, a few weeks after the Parkland shooting, Delta Airlines announced the company would be “ending its contract for discounted rates through our group travel program,” as well as removing its information from their website. United Airlines revoked its association with the NRA as well by announcing they would no longer be providing a discount price on flights to the NRA’s annual meetings.

Delta CEO Ed Bastian, stated in the memo that the decision had nothing to do with the recent gun law debates. He said, ‘Our decision was not made for economic gain and our values are not for sale… We are in the process of a review to end group discounts for any group of a politically divisive nature.”

Despite Bastian’s claims that the memo was not a declaration of allegiance to any side of the recent gun law arguments, Georgia lawmakers and Governor passed legislation that destroyed a tax exemption on jet fuel for Delta. As a result, Delta could lose a significant amount of money.

While such bold statements from the two largest passenger carriers in America makes quite an impact on the recent gun law debates, Delta and United Airlines aren’t the only two companies taking a stand. Within the past week, both Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods have announced their contribution to gun reformation.

Both businesses sent out memos saying that they would no longer be selling any firearms to anyone under the age of 21. Dick’s Sporting Goods also stated that they would no longer be selling assault-style firearms or high-capacity magazines. Walmart previously stopped selling assault-style firearms in 2015, though they have announced that they would remove any items that resemble assault rifles from their shelves. Along with this, Walmart stated that they would no longer sell items resembling assault rifles on their website, including airsoft guns and toys.

Unlike Delta Airlines, Walmart has been more open about the fact that this decision was made “in light of recent events”, specifically the shooting in Parkland, Florida. The memo released by Walmart stated that, “We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond Federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm”.

The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward W. Stack, was also extremely vocal in terms of his (and the company’s) view on the recent gun law debate. In the memo released, Stack said, “We implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations”. A few of the reforms that Stack suggested included raising minimum age for gun purchase, banning assault-style firearms, banning high-capacity magazines and bump stocks. He also suggested that it be required to have universal background checks, which included relevant mental-health data and “previous interactions with the law”, as well as requiring a database of prohibited buyers. The database would destroy the private sale and gun show loophole.

Well-known businesses like Delta Airlines and Walmart are not the only organizations publicly taking a stand in the wake of the recent gun law debate. Several companies have terminated their association with the NRA, including Symantec Corp., the First National Bank of Omaha, Metlife Inc., Wyndham Hotel Group LLC, Enterprise Holdings Inc., Hertz car rentals, and Avis Budget Group Inc..