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Companies face private, public challenges over NRA positions

By Susan McFarland
Companies face private, public challenges over NRA positions
FedEx Corp issued a statement on Monday saying it will continue to allow the National Rifle Association to use a company discount program. Photo courtesy FedEx/website

Feb. 27 (UPI) -- FedEx issued a statement saying it is opposed to assault rifle sales but adding it would continue to allow the National Rifle Association to use a discount program.

The package delivery company is the latest business to distance itself from the NRA since the mass shooting at a South Florida high school two weeks ago. Other corporations, including rental car companies Hertz and Enterprise Holdings, have simultaneously ended former discount programs for group members.

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Some of those companies, including FedEx, are now facing blows from customers and policymakers alike over their positions on gun control and the NRA.

A company statement Monday said FedEx's positions on gun policy and safety differ from those of the NRA but because the company is a common carrier under federal law, it "does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views."

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"FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians," according to the statement. "While we strongly support the constitutional right of U.S. citizens to own firearms subject to appropriate background checks, FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused. We therefore support restricting them to the military."'

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The company called for "urgent action" to protect schools and students from gun violence, but said it doesn't change discount rates for organizations -- including the NRA -- over policy debate.

The statement wasn't strong enough for some gun control advocates, including pop-punk band Blink-182. Bassist and founding member Mark Hoppus tweeted Monday night that he told band representatives to stop using the company's shipping services.

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"[FedEx] has chosen to continue its business relationship with the NRA, despite its board member pushing conspiracies against children who survived Parkland," Hoppus wrote online.

Another major U.S. corporation, Delta Air Lines, is facing pushback for taking too strong a stance against the NRA. The airline company has axed a discount program for NRA members.

On Monday, Georgia Senate's leaders vowed to block a lucrative tax break for Delta because of the severed ties with the NRA.

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Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle said he will kill any tax legislation that benefits Delta "unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship" with the NRA. "Corporations cannot attack conservatives and expect us not to fight back," Cagle tweeted.

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