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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.

It’s a qui­et rever­sal: eight months ago, FedEx stood by the gun-rights lob­by group as oth­er com­pa­nies scrapped deals. They were react­ing to the NRA’s stance after 17 stu­dents and staff mem­bers were mur­dered at a Flori­da high school by a for­mer stu­dent. Com­pa­nies includ­ing Delta Air Lines, Unit­ed Air­lines and car-rental firm Enter­prise swift­ly end­ed mem­ber dis­counts. At the time, FedEx said that while assault rifles of the kind used in most Amer­i­can mass shoot­ings shouldn’t be in civil­ian hands, it did not believe in “dis­crim­i­nat­ing” between orga­ni­za­tions it works with.
The change of tack comes just days after a gun­man killed 11 peo­ple in a Pitts­burgh syn­a­gogue. The $56 bil­lion logis­tics com­pa­ny says the clo­sure of its NRA dis­count pro­gram from Nov. 4 has no con­nec­tion to that inci­dent or any oth­er shoot­ing. Rather, the NRA just didn’t bring in enough busi­ness to mer­it its own deal. It’s among dozens of orga­ni­za­tions FedEx plans to move to new pric­ing pro­grams, and the com­pa­ny has been noti­fy­ing cus­tomers since ear­ly Octo­ber.

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.

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ER1C ☠

ER1C ☠

Dedicated Second Amendment Advocate, At-Home Gunsmith, Designer, Blogger, Video Guy, Author, Business Owner & ReloadOne Member.

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