Companies cutting ties with NRA grows to include Hertz, MetLife, Best Western

The Nebraska-based First National Bank of Omaha said Thursday they will not renew its contract to issue the group's National Rifle Association Visa Card, spokesman Kevin Langin said in a statement.

A growing number of United States companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA) as the gun lobby comes under huge criticism following the last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school.

In a statement posted to its Twitter account, United said it would no longer offer a discounted rate for NRA members traveling to their annual meeting.

Until this week, the NRA touted a deal with MetLife to offer NRA members "generous pre-negotiated NRA group discounts" for automobile insurance.

More than half a dozen USA companies have abruptly cut ties with the National Rifle Association as gun safety activists on Friday intensified calls for a boycott in the wake of last week's Florida high school massacre.

Symantec, which makes the Norton anti-virus software and owns the identity theft protection company LifeLock, said Friday that it is severing ties with the NRA.

The insurance firm Chubb said it had already stopped underwriting an NRA-branded insurance policy as of three months ago.

The decisions came as the names of companies with NRA associations began circulating widely on the Internet and social media under the #BoycottNRA hashtag after the deadly Valentine's Day attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.

Also Friday, Wyndham Worldwide, parent company of major hotel brands including Travelodge, Howard Johnson, Ramada and Days Inn, tweeted that it "is no longer affiliated with the NRA".

Chubb Limited, a giant in the personal accident and life insurance game has for a long-time offered the NRA Carry Guard plan, which provides insurance coverage to NRA members caught up in shooting self-defense lawsuits.

Since the shooting, students and their families have organised near-daily protests, demanding gun control reform. None of the companies have given details about why or when they chose to cut ties, but the news comes as the hashtag #BoycottNRA has circulated widely on social media. "If other companies continue to (cut ties) it can start to have an adverse public relations effect", Mr Spitzer said.

The shipping company gives NRA members up to a 26 percent discount on shipping both within and outside of the country. Just as ending the agreements will risk sparking anger among conservative supporters, it could attract customers who had previously felt they could not part with their cash to a company that supported one of the most powerful but divisive organizations in the U.S. None of the other companies immediately responded to requests for comment. Other auto rental companies, including National, Enterprise and Alamo, announced earlier this week that they would no longer offer NRA discounts.

Activists have also called on public pension funds to divest from gun maker stocks, which were broadly lower on Friday.

At a CNN town hall on Wednesday, they urged elected officials to act and sparred with NRA representative Dana Loesch. Among them is Flordia Governor Rick Scott, who supports raising the minimum age for gun purchases from 18-years-old to 21.

  • Santos West