Why Are FedEx and the NRA So Cozy?

A growing list of companies is severing ties with the NRA, declining to extend preferential discounts and other benefits to members of the 147-year-old gun advocacy group. One of those companies is under increasing heat after a series of statements defending its position: FedEx.

Internal documents furnished to ThinkProgress hint at the reason why FedEx is so reluctant to terminate its business relationship with the NRA; this shipping giant is aggressively courting the mail-order gun sales trade.

The NRA, like many organizations with large memberships, negotiates special treatment for its members in exchange for providing a large pool of potential customers. Chances are that you belong to one or more entities that offer benefits like discounts on products and services. These contracts are periodically renegotiated, and companies may consider issues like corporate responsibility when doing so.

With many people in the United States concerned about the NRA’s power, activists have started applying pressure to the NRA’s allies, by asking them to sever their special benefits programs for members. They aren’t asking companies to refuse to do business with NRA members; they just want those companies to treat them like everyone else — no more special deals on car rentals, for example, or free software packages. Such benefits may not necessarily be the reason people join the NRA, but they’re a definite perk, and losing them may spark a conversation.

In the case of FedEx, it’s important to understand that the company is offering special deals on shipping to NRA members, mostly small businesses — not simply the National Rifle Association. FedEx claims that the NRA relies mostly on UPS for its retail shipping needs. The company says that as a regulated “common carrier,” it “does not and will not deny service or discriminate against any legal entity regardless of their policy positions or political views.”

But people aren’t asking FedEx to stop serving the NRA. They’re asking for the company to terminate special treatment for NRA members. You can ship anything you want, so long as you pay full price.

So why, when other companies have ended discount programs, is FedEx holding out?

According to the documents obtained by ThinkProgress, the company has been aggressively pursuing mail-order gun customers. Competition between FedEx, UPS and the United States Postal Service is ferocious in an era when everyone orders online and expects fast, cheap shipping.

And while FedEx ostensibly has a rule that guns must be shipped via the fast — and expensive — Priority Overnight service, evidence suggests otherwise. A list of “whitelisted” customers is allowed to choose slower shipping methods, thereby saving money — and one of those customers is the NRA.

FedEx didn’t precisely deny the allegations when confronted by ThinkProgress; they just insisted that the list was “confidential.”

These revelations about FedEx highlight the fact that the companies you do business with may support causes you don’t like, either directly or indirectly. If you haven’t done so already, take the time to contact your bank and the companies that you work with regularly — like your preferred airline or hotel chain — and ask their member discounts, loyalty points and other benefits for certain organizations. If you’re surprised by what you hear, say so!

Take action!

Join Care2 members in telling FedEx that we’re FedUp: It’s time to stop enabling the NRA and profiting from gun sales, FedEx!

Photo credit: Tomas del Coro

79 comments

Judy t
Judy t3 months ago

Companies are severing their ties with the NRA because who wants to be affiliated with guns when all they represent now in our modern time are tragedies.

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Lisa M
Lisa M3 months ago

Noted.

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Lisa M
Lisa M3 months ago

Noted.

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Nena C
Nena C3 months ago

yes they are cozy its called 'making bucks' and needs to stop now

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Leo Custer
Leo C3 months ago

Thank you for sharing!

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Mary F
Mary F3 months ago

Sad.

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Toni W
Toni W3 months ago

TYFS

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Toni W
Toni W3 months ago

TYFS

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tammy C
tammy C3 months ago

freaks

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Angela J
Angela J3 months ago

Thanks

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