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More US Companies End Marketing Programs With National Rifle Association


FILE - A Delta Air Lines plane arrives at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Aug. 8, 2016. Delta on Feb. 24, 2018, joined the list of U.S. companies indicating they were ending discount programs with the National Rifle Association.

Two more well-known companies said Saturday that they had ended marketing programs with the National Rifle Association (NRA), as gun control advocates stepped up pressure on firms to cut ties to the gun industry following a recent deadly mass school shooting in Florida.

Activists have posted petitions online, identifying businesses that offer discounts to NRA members, in a push to pressure the companies to cut ties to the gun rights organization.

Delta Air Lines and United Airlines were the latest companies to indicate they were ending discount programs with the gun lobbying organization. They said they would ask the organization to delete any references to their companies from their website.

On Friday, corporations that ended their discount programs with NRA members included insurance company MetLife, car rental company Hertz and Symantec Corp., the software company that makes Norton Antivirus technology.

The moves came after several other companies had cut their ties to the NRA this week, including car rental company Enterprise, First National Bank of Omaha, Wyndham Hotels and Best Western hotels.

The NRA is one of the country's most powerful lobbying groups for gun rights and claims 5 million members.

Flags fly over a First National Bank branch in Omaha, Neb., Feb. 23, 2018. The Nebraska-based First National Bank of Omaha said Thursday it will not renew its contract to issue the National Rifle Association Visa Card, spokesman Kevin Langin said in a statement.
Flags fly over a First National Bank branch in Omaha, Neb., Feb. 23, 2018. The Nebraska-based First National Bank of Omaha said Thursday it will not renew its contract to issue the National Rifle Association Visa Card, spokesman Kevin Langin said in a statement.

Florida shooting renews debate

Last week's shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 people dead has renewed the national debate about gun control.

Gun control activists have been mounting a campaign on Twitter, including using the hashtag #BoycottNRA as well as using social media to pressure streaming platforms, including Amazon, to drop the online video channel NRATV, which features gun-friendly programming produced by the NRA.

On Thursday, NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre told the Conservative Political Action Conference that those advocating for stricter gun control were exploiting the Florida shooting.

People sign up at the booth for the National Rifle Association at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 23, 2018.
People sign up at the booth for the National Rifle Association at the Conservative Political Action Conference at National Harbor, Maryland, Feb. 23, 2018.

Receiving a rousing reception, LaPierre said, "There is no greater personal individual freedom than the right to keep and bear arms, the right to protect yourself and the right to survive."

Arming teachers

On Friday, President Donald Trump reiterated to CPAC for the third time this week the need to arm teachers with concealed weapons to prevent more shootings in U.S. schools.

"It's time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers. We don't want them in our schools," Trump said.

Trump has also proposed raising the age to buy assault-style rifles from 18 to 21, which the NRA opposes.

In his speech to CPAC, Trump indicated he did not intend to battle the powerful organization.

"They're friends of mine," Trump said of the NRA, which gave more than $11 million to his presidential campaign in 2016 and spent nearly $20 million attacking his Democratic Party general election challenger, Hillary Clinton.

The mass shooting in Florida on February 14 has sparked a wave of rallies in Florida, Washington and in other areas of the United States in an attempt to force local and national leaders to take action to prevent such attacks.

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