The National Rifle Association has a significant footprint in the United States, with political and cultural influence that’s largely unmatched among the nation’s major advocacy organizations.
But as Rachel noted on last night’s show, the NRA’s reach also extends into the private sector, and as the far-right group faces the latest in a series of public backlashes, this is where the organization is beginning to suffer.
Car rental company Enterprise and First National Bank of Omaha have severed their relationship with the National Rifle Association.
First National Bank of Omaha said Thursdsay it will not renew a contract to issue its NRA-branded Visa credit card.
“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” a bank spokesperson told CNBC. “As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”
The bank’s announcement came within a day of ThinkProgress’ report on the First National Bank of Omaha’s partnership with the NRA.
We’ve seen some of this before. Time magazine’s report on this added yesterday, “The Wyndham and Best Western hotel companies similarly came under pressure to end their discount programs for NRA members in early 2013, right after the Sandy Hook school shooting that left 26 children and adults dead. Both hotel companies no longer offer such discounts and are not corporate partners with the NRA, as their social media teams said in replies to countless tweets lately.”
The point, of course, is that the National Rifle Association’s brand, such as it is, is reaching such a level of toxicity that major corporations will have an incentive to keep the extremist group at arm’s length.
Sure, these companies run the risk of complaints, and possibly even boycotts, from the NRA’s most ardent supporters, but the corporations had to decide which would be worse: partnering with the NRA, and risking a public backlash, or distancing themselves from the NRA, and risking a far-right backlash.
So far, a few of the companies have opted for the latter.
Update: It looks like a home-security company this morning also ended its relationship with the gun group.
Second Update: MetLife is out, too.