The NRA has lashed out at companies which have severed ties with the gun lobby, branding it as "political and civic cowardice".
Delta and United airlines joined a wave of companies ending their association with the National Rifle Association as the backlash against the powerful gun lobby group spreads in the wake of the Florida school massacre.
The exodus of corporate names, ranging from a major insurer to car rental brands and a household moving company, began after the NRA launched a counter-offensive against a student-led campaign for tighter US gun laws.
In a statement on Saturday, the NRA accused companies of “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.”
Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world. #StandandFight#NRA#2Ahttps://t.co/4kzNq9GDLq
— NRA (@NRA) February 25, 2018
The NRA's five million members have, until now, enjoyed a raft of favourable deals from the NRA's corporate partners.
In tweets on Saturday, Delta and United said they were no longer offering NRA members discounted rates and they would ask the NRA to remove their information from its website.
Delta is reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program. We will be requesting that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— Delta (@Delta) February 24, 2018
United is notifying the NRA that we will no longer offer a discounted rate to their annual meeting and we are asking that the NRA remove our information from their website.
— United Airlines (@united) February 24, 2018
The issue of gun control, and the NRA's role in opposing it, became the focus of renewed national debate after a former student killed 17 people on Feb. 14 at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Parkland, using an AR-15 assault rifle he had purchased legally.
Among the first to end their co-branding memberships were Hertz and Enterprise holdings - the parent company of major car rental firms Enterprise, Alamo and National.
First National Bank of Omaha, which offers the "Official Credit Card of the NRA" - with benefits including five per cent cash back on petrol and sporting goods - also announced it was ending the arrangement.
Read more | Florida school shooting
Symantec, which offered anti-virus software, has stopped offering NRA members a discount which slashed the price of its top package from $110 to $48.
Chubb Insurance has confirmed it will no longer underwrite "NRA Carry Guard" policies, although the company took the decision three months ago.
The sweeping corporate desertion of the NRA follows a social media campaign under the #BoycottNRA hashtag, which has named and shamed companies with ties to the gun lobby group.
The following companies have cut ties with the NRA over the last 24 hours.
- Best Western
- First National Bank
The list is growing!! RETWEET to show support!!
— Brian Krassenstein�� (@krassenstein) February 23, 2018
Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which was founded after the 2012 shootings in Sandy Hook, has sent letters to streaming television companies demanding they axe NRA TV from their line-ups.
Such is the groundswell of anger that a number of companies which severed their links with the NRA some time ago have publicly disowned the organisation on social media.
In the past the NRA has not been averse to orchestrating a boycott campaign of its own, notably in 2000, when it targeted Smith & Wesson, which had cut a deal with the Clinton administration.
The gun manufacturers were accused of "caving in" after agreeing a package of measures including restrictions on sales, the introduction of locking devices and limits on clip sizes.
Gun owners deserted Smith & Wesson, which suffered a 40 per cent slump in gun sales.