FedEx drops NRA deal by snail-mail
Via Reuters — Mass shootings happen in an instant and grab headlines. A business and investment shift away from the firearms industry is happening more subtly. FedEx, the U.S. shipping group, is ending a program that offers discounts for business members of the National Rifle Association, the company confirmed to Breakingviews.
That, though, is still significant – perhaps more so than largely political gestures. It suggests the NRA no longer has the economic clout to inspire fear in the corporate world. The group nearly put gunmaker Smith & Wesson out of business in 2000 when it branded the company a “sellout” for agreeing to back stronger gun controls. Boycotts from NRA members followed, and Smith & Wesson’s chief executive lost his job.
Gun-rights lobbyists have resisted both technology that could make firearms safer and no-brainer efforts like making more federal data on firearms incidents readily available. But companies are becoming less timid. When retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart and Kroger pledged to end sales of assault rifles earlier this year, their shares didn’t suffer. As customers and investors change their views, businesses no longer need to take an overtly political stance – they can just follow the money.