FedEx won’t end partnership with NRA because ‘discrimination’

A FedEx truck.
A FedEx truck.

Image: PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

By Brian Koerber

After a weekend of pressure from social media activists, FedEx has announced it will not end its discounted rate program for members of the National Rifle Association, which offers a discount of up to 26 percent.

Following a school shooting which left 17 people dead in Parkland, Florida earlier this month, there has been a public crackdown on brands that associate themselves with the NRA. A call-to-action led by student survivors brought mass attention to the various brands that offer discounted rates and services to NRA members, causing multiple large brands like United, Hertz, and Delta to end such programs. 

FedEx, however, isn’t backing down.

The company released a confusing statement on Monday, stating that although the company supports stricter gun laws, it will not end its affiliation with the NRA.

“FedEx is a common carrier under Federal law and therefore does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views,” the statement reads. “The NRA is one of hundreds of organizations in our alliances/association Marketing program whose members receive discounted rates for FedEx shipping. FedEx has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues.”

Essentially, FedEx is hiding under the term “discrimination” in order to continue to give NRA members discounts, possibly for fear of a potential lawsuit. If FedEx were to end its affiliation with one company for its political stance, such as the NRA, that may be considered discrimination, the company claims.

FedEx doesn’t offer discounts to many organizations, such as the ACLU. Under its logic, FedEx is essentially saying the NRA is grandfathered into its discount program and can’t be shut out for political reasons. 

The hashtag #BoycottNRA topped Twitter trends on Friday, and as the tweets continued to flow into the weekend, brands began distancing themselves from the NRA. Parkland student David Hogg sent multiple tweets over the weekend, pushing for a boycott of the courier.

So which companies use @FedEx the most? We could pressure them to stop business until @FedEx ends their support for the NRA.

— David Hogg (@davidhogg111) February 24, 2018

A petition on MoveOn.org asking FedEx to end its partnership with the NRA has amassed over 85,000 signatures at time of writing.

After FedEx’s statement, multiple people have called out the hypocrisy, while others have canceled services which use FedEX.

Being a common carrier does not oblige you to provide discounts to any and all groups. You do not provide discounts to NAMBLA or the KKK. If – as you say – you abhor the NRA’s stance on assault rifles, then simply *stop giving them special treatment*.

— Tom Coates (@tomcoates) February 26, 2018

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