Delta and United — two of the largest airlines in the world — have joined a growing list of companies cutting ties with the National Rifle Association amid a growing boycott movement inspired by the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with a legally purchased AR-15 rifle.
Without context, the airlines’ twin announcements on Saturday morning might look trivial: The end of flight discounts to the NRA’s annual convention, which few outside the gun rights organization likely knew existed before they became boycott targets.
But in abandoning the NRA, the airlines followed car rental giants Avis, Hertz and Enterprise, the Best Western hotel chain, the global insurance company MetLife, and more than a dozen other corporations that have severed affiliations with the gun group in the last two days.
While it’s unclear what effect the corporate snubs will have on the NRA, they have given the nascent #BoycottNRA a string of rapid, prominent victories and exposed vulnerabilities in a gun rights lobby that had seemed untouchable less than two weeks ago.
The NRA claims 5 million members and takes in tens of millions of dollars each year through supporters, which it uses to fight gun regulations in the name of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees Americans the right to bear arms.