NRA rips corporate sponsors that cut ties: Shameful display of cowardice

NRA rips corporate sponsors that cut ties: Shameful display of cowardice
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The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Saturday bashed corporate sponsors that have cut ties with the gun lobbying group following the mass shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month.

Multiple corporations, including airlines, insurance groups and car rental companies, have cut ties with the NRA in response to threats of consumers boycotting the companies. 

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The NRA struck back at the companies in a statement Saturday, calling it a "shameful display of political and civic cowardice." The group also criticized the preparedness of the Parkland, Fla., high school, as well as federal and local law enforcement in responding to the shooting where 17 people were killed. 

"The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school’s security preparedness, the failure of America’s mental health system, the failure of the National Instant Check System or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement," the group said in a statement. 

"Despite that, some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. In time, these brands will be replaced by others who recognize that patriotism and determined commitment to Constitutional freedoms are characteristics of a marketplace they very much want to serve," it continued. 

"Let it be absolutely clear. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend the individual freedoms that have always made America the greatest nation in the world."

Student survivors from Parkland and many Democratic lawmakers have renewed calls for gun control in the aftermath of the shooting while criticizing the influential gun lobby for its firm stance against banning weapons like the AR-15 allegedly used in the Feb. 14 attack.

The NRA has doubled down on its positions since the shooting. In an appearance at a major conservative conference this week, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre said it was "ridiculous" to use shooting events as a means to advocate gun control.

Still, the number of companies distancing themselves from the pro-gun organization continued to grow on Saturday, with United Airlines and Delta both announcing they would stop offering discounted flights to NRA members attending the group's annual convention.

First National Bank of Omaha announced on Thursday that it would not renew its NRA-branded Visa card after a review of its relationship with the gun lobby, while other brands such as Hertz, MetLife and insurer Chubb also cut ties to the NRA.

Updated: 5:25 p.m.