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FedEx ends NRA shipping discount program

A FedEx plane. (ERIC SALARD/Wikimedia Commons)
October 31, 2018

FedEx has quietly cut its discount shipping program with the NRA, according to a new report.

The $56 billion shipping company has ended a deal that provided discounts for business members of the NRA, FedEx confirmed to Reuters on Tuesday.

While the decision follows the mass shooting at a synagogue in Pittsburgh that killed 11 and injured six on Saturday, FedEx says the shooting did not influence its decision.

FedEx asserts that the NRA deal wasn’t yielding enough money to feasibly continue the partnership. Further, FedEx says the NRA is among “dozens of organizations” that have received notifications from FedEx over the last several weeks about shifting to new pricing structures.

However, a recent quote by FedEx’s vice president of Corporate Communications has left some questioning if profits are the real reason.

“We believe it’s our responsibility to help make the world a better place and we are thrilled to see our efforts recognized,” Jenny Robertson said in a press release.

Previously, FedEx maintained its association with the NRA despite criticism after the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida in February. Even after companies such as Delta Air Lines, United Airlines and Enterprise car rental company cut their discount partnerships with the NRA, FedEx said at the time that they would not be “discriminating” against partner organizations.

At the time, FedEx released a statement saying, “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 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.”

However, the justification of its statement was preceded by clarifying the company’s stance on guns, which clearly goes against that of the NRA:

FedEx Corporation’s positions on the issues of gun policy and safety differ from those of the National Rifle Association (NRA).  FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians.  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.  Most important, FedEx believes urgent action is required at the local, state, and Federal level to protect schools and students from incidents such as the horrific tragedy in Florida on February 14th.

When FedEx said in February that its would not be cutting ties with the NRA, the mass blowback included the retaliation of several companies who cut their own ties with FedEx. It’s unclear if this repercussion led to the decision to now part ways with the NRA.

Critics of the NRA see the FedEx’s move as the latest blow to the gun rights group, which has already seen a large decline in spending, coming in at $6 million below gun control spending, according to a Reuters survey.