VOL. 133 | NO. 44 | Thursday, March 1, 2018
FedEx Responds to Criticism Over Ties to National Rifle Association
By Patrick Lantrip
The day after FedEx Corp. released a statement saying that would continue to offer discounts to National Rifle Association members despite differing opinions on gun legislation, the Memphis-based company released a follow-up statement addressing the backlash.
In the statement, FedEx acknowledged the “continuing concerns” relating to its relationship with the NRA and wanted to clarify its position.
“First, the pricing program that is the focus of these concerns is not for the NRA itself – it is for American small businesses and consumers that are members of the association,” FedEx said in the release. “For shipping from its online store, the NRA uses UPS and not FedEx.”
The company also denied any donation or sponsorship with the NRA, adding that the gun lobby is one of hundreds of alliance and association participants.
The company also reiterated in the release its reasoning behind the decision.
“FedEx remains committed to all our customers and the pricing we provide them independent of their political affiliations and views.”
This second statement in as many days on the matter came after many gun-control advocates, including Parkland, Florida, massacre survivor David Hogg, applied pressure on the shipping company via social media after FedEx’s original statement was released.
“No matter who you are or what organization are I’d be a huge help if you changed your shipping service over to @USPS or @DHLUS or @UPS in support of us. In fact tweet out at companies that use only use @FedEx and demand action! Let’s get this done! #boycottfedex,” Hogg said Monday night.
In an earlier Tweet, Hogg also called on shareholders to sell off FedEx stock until the company officially severs ties with the NRA.
Hogg’s Twitter activity, which has grown exponentially in the wake of the Florida shooting on Feb. 14, also garnered the attention of The New York Times, which published an op-ed column by David Leonhardt titled, “FedEx Hearts the N.R.A.”
On Monday, FedEx was the latest corporation that was forced to make a statement on their corporate partnership with the NRA since a growing national #BoycottNRA movement began late last week to put pressure on entities that offer certain discounts to NRA members.
Though FedEx won’t be severing ties with the NRA, it also said in the original release that it doesn’t agree with the gun lobby’s positions on firearms regulation.
“FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians,” the statement said. “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.”
To date, more than a dozen companies, including Enterprise, Avis, Hertz, MetLife, Best Western, Wyndham, United Airlines and Delta Air Lines, have publicly cut ties with the NRA amid increasing pressure on social media from gun-control advocates.