As the National Rifle Association grows increasingly out of touch with most American gun owners, the organization still claims “more than five million members.” A number of corporations are making membership to the group, which opposes nearly all gun safety legislation, more enticing by partnering with the NRA.
Much like AARP or AAA offer discounts for their own members, the NRA promotes its discounts for members as a selling point for why people should join. The “valuable 5-star benefits” promised include not just a subscription to an NRA magazine and a gun-owner liability protection policy but also savings on insurance, identity theft protection, hearing aids, car rentals, moving vans, shipping, and even wine. While some of these perks are provided by in-house subsidiaries, many are offered through corporate partners — including some household names.
After the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the NRA has been the focus of renewed national attention, as the group continues to successfully block any legislation to curb gun violence on the national level. Dallas’ mayor pro tem told the NRA February 19 that the group will be “met with opposition” if it holds its scheduled May conference in his city. And over the weekend, hundreds of people gathered outside the group’s Virginia headquarters to hold a vigil and protest.
ThinkProgress asked more than two dozen corporations that offer incentives to NRA members whether they plan to continue their relationships with the gun lobby. A growing number of those companies have ended their relationship with the NRA since this list was initially published.
In a statement February 24, the NRA called the corporations’ decisions “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice.”
“Let it be absolutely clear,” the statement continued. “The loss of a discount with 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.”
The preventative health company based in Austin, Texas says on a NRA-specific website that members can “take advantage of affordable discounts.”
As of February 24, the website is no longer functioning. In its place is an error message reading: “This page may have moved or is no longer available.” Representatives did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Members are encouraged to protect their “privacy and financial security” through a subscription to this privacy protection service, though no discount is specified. A representative did not respond to requests for comment.
Life Insurance Central
Medical Concierge Network
Unspecified “specialized exclusive benefits” are offered for members who want to join this “personal health advisory service.” The company’s founder, Greg Nassief, told ThinkProgress that he has no comment on the company’s relationship with the NRA, noting that it is not political and that his company has similar relationships “with several entities across all sorts of categories.”
The hotel booking company lets NRA members book trips through a website only accessible with a member number. Tim Hentschel, co-founder of Hotel Planner, told Bloomberg that it would not be distancing itself from the gun lobby. “Our company provides discounted rooms to several large associations, including the NRA,” he said. “These associations greatly benefit our customers by buying discounted rooms from groups that might otherwise be charged a penalty by hotels for not using all of the rooms in their block.” A representative did not respond to requests for comment.
The wine company operates “the official wine club of the NRA,” offering NRA members an “exclusive first-time offer” of “4 exceptional wines for just $29.99,” which it says is a savings of over $84. Vinesse also sells “NRA Collector’s Series” packages of wine. Representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
On February 27, Vinesse suspended the sales of its NRA Collectors’ Series. “Many people have called in regards to the whole NRA situation,” a customer service representative told ThinkProgress, adding that managers are still discussing how to move forward. “They’re looking into it,” he added.
Members of the NRA’s Business Alliance, a separate program for businesses, receive additional benefits and discounts. These include:
The shipping giant provides up to a 26 percent discount for NRA Business Alliance members via its FedEx Advantage program. In a statement February 26, FedEx said its position on gun policy differs from the NRA, but it will be sticking with the gun lobby anyway. “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 company said. “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.”
First National Bank of Omaha
The Nebraska-based bank issued the “official credit card of the NRA.” One version of the Visa card offered five percent back on gas and sporting goods store purchases, while another offered a low intro APR. Both cards offered a $40 bonus, “enough to reimburse your one-year NRA membership!” The site also boasted that the card ensured “legislative action in support of your Second Amendment Rights,” “public education and awareness about the facts of gun ownership,” and “training and safety programs for individuals, families, and the military.”
On February 21, less than 24 hours after ThinkProgress first reported the bank’s connection to the NRA, the website advertising the card disappeared. On February 22, the bank tweeted that after massive customer feedback, it had decided not to renew its contract with the NRA to issue the card.
Enterprise, Alamo, and National
Enterprise Holdings, which operates three prominent car rental brands, said February 22 it’s ending its corporate relationship with the NRA. All three brands — Enterprise, Alamo, and National — announced on Twitter they would end the program effective March 26.
The car rental conglomerate previously had a partnership with the NRA to provide discounts to members once they paid their $40 annual fee annual fee.
Symantec announced February 23 it would cut ties with the NRA.
Norton anti-malware software, developed and distributed by Symantec Corporation, previously offered NRA members discounts on various subscription rates. Members could get $37 off a standard membership, $52 off a deluxe membership, and $62 off a premium membership.
Symantec, LifeLock’s parent company, announced February 23 it would cut ties with the NRA.
Access to LifeLock Business Solutions, the identity-theft prevention company’s business arm, was previously listed as a benefit for NRA members, though no specific discount was specified.
On February 23, MetLife said it would discontinue its discount for NRA members.
MetLife Auto & Home previously offered NRA members “generous pre-negotiated NRA group discounts.” “As an NRA member, it couldn’t be easier to shop for car insurance AND support the National Rifle Association,” the company said on its website. “That’s because the NRA has worked with MetLife Auto & Home to provide you with competitive rates and group discounts on auto insurance from several leading insurance carriers.”
Until recently, insurance company Chubb underwrote the NRA Carry Guard insurance for gun owners. On February 23, the company said it would end this practice. According to Reuters, “Chubb gave notice three months ago of its plan to stop participating in the NRA insurance program.” The company told ThinkProgress it did not make the decision public until Reuters reached out this week.
“We have discontinued our existing relationship with the NRA,” a spokesperson for SimpliSafe told ThinkProgress on February 23.
NRA members previously received two months free of SimpliSafe’s monitoring with the purchase of any new home security system.
Teladoc’s communications director confirmed to ThinkProgress on February 23 that the company is no longer in partnership with the NRA.
NRA members were previously offered a $14.95 “discounted monthly rate” for this telemedicine service. The representative told ThinkProgress on February 23 that this discount “was part of a broader program, set up several years ago, that we no longer participate in,” and added the NRA page will be removed (though Teladoc does not operate the page).
Hertz said February 23 that it would discontinue its discount program for NRA members. The company posted on Twitter that it had notified the gun lobby of this decision.
The rental car company previously offered NRA members “up to 25% off everyday base rates at participating locations worldwide” as well as “additional program benefits.” According to the company’s website, those benefits include “everyday savings,” “bonus savings,” and “premier travel perks.”
Allied Van Lines and NorthAmerican Van Lines
SIRVA, the parent company for the two moving companies, said February 23 it would end the benefits it provides to NRA members. “We have asked them to remove our listing from their benefits site,” Tammy Monroe, a SIRVA spokesperson, told ThinkProgress.
The moving companies previously offered unspecified discounts to NRA members through a special website.
“It’s a great program,” a customer service representative told ThinkProgress February 20. “We’ve been doing this for many many years for NRA members.”
Avis and Budget
A representative for the Avis Budget Group, which operates the two car rental companies, confirmed to ThinkProgress February 23 that it would end its relationship with the NRA. “Effective March 26, our brands will no longer provide the NRA member discount,” a company representative said via email.
Avis and Budget previously offered NRA members up to 25 percent off base rates.
Teresa Zimmerman, director of marketing for Personify Corp, the software company’s parent organization, told ThinkProgress February 23 that they have asked the NRA to remove them from the gun lobby’s website. “We have contacted the NRA directly and asked them to remove our logo and the affiliated text, as they were actually using that without permission from us,” she said. “We never had a formal partnership with them.” Zimmerman explained that one of their affiliate members may have arranged the advertising without the organization’s knowledge. “We’re just trying to sell software,” she said.
NRA Business Alliance members were previously offered a 30-day free trial of the company’s website and membership software. A representative told ThinkProgress February 20 the company offers anyone a 30-day free trial and “has absolutely no affiliation or partnership with the NRA,” but did not explain why the NRA was advertising the trial to members. In 2013, Wild Apricot told ThinkProgress that the company permits any lawful group to receive a commission if they sign up as affiliate partners and if they “do not pay any fee to the NRA, and their affiliates do not receive any discount on our software.”
TrueCar, an automotive pricing and information website, said February 23 it will be ending its advertising relationship with the NRA at the end of the month. “TrueCar is ending its car buying service relationship with the NRA effective February 28, 2018,” Veronica Cardenas, TrueCar’s media relations manager, told ThinkProgress in an email late on February 23.
The car buying service previously advertised on a special NRA member website that “members save an average of $3,383 off MSRP!”
Starkey Hearing Technologies
On February 24, this prominent hearing aid technology company announced it was ending its relationship with the NRA. “We will be asking them to remove our information from their website,” the company said on Twitter.
The NRA previously partnered with Starkey to offer discounted hearing aids and “free consultations” for its members. A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On February 24, the pharmacy benefits manager company released a statement announcing that, while it previously offered a prescription drug discount program for NRA members, via a third-party vendor, they were “working with that vendor to discontinue the program and remove the offering.” A representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Republic Bank is discontinuing the NRA Visa Prepaid Card, a special prepaid debit card that was previously available to NRA members. The NRA Prepaid site now says, “This program is no longer available to new customers.” A representative for the bank told Business Insider over the weekend that “The NRA Prepaid Card program was previously under review. Upon conclusion of this review, we decided to discontinue the offering,” which ThinkProgress confirmed on February 26.
Securian Financial Group
Securian told ThinkProgress February 26: “After thoughtful review, we have decided to discontinue marketing our insurance products as a National Rifle Association benefit. We have asked the NRA to remove our information from their website.” The insurance company had previously provided an array of travel, cancer care, life, and gun owner insurance policies for NRA members.
On February 26, insurance company Lockton Affinity, a subsidiary of Lockton Companies, said it would no longer underwrite the NRA Carry Guard insurance program for gun owners. The NRA had described the program as a “state-of-the-art” policy to help gun owners when they use their firearm for self-defense and end up in a “legal nightmare.” “You defend your life with a firearm,” its website says. “Defend your life savings with industry leading insurance.”
On February 23, ThinkProgress also reported that Delta and United Airlines are offering NRA members discounted flights to travel to the gun lobby’s annual meeting, scheduled for May in Dallas. Both airlines initially claimed that the relationship was standard for any organization, but on the morning of February 24, Delta said it would be “reaching out to the NRA to let them know we will be ending their contract for discounted rates through our group travel program,” and United issued a similar statement shortly after.
The NRA also manages a directory of smaller companies that offer discounts and incentives, allowing members to search by state.
In early 2013, weeks after the Sandy Hook shooting, ThinkProgress published a similar list. Since that time, several companies have discontinued their relationships with the pro-gun group. Following a grassroots pressure campaign led by the global advocacy group Avaaz.org, both Best Western and Wyndham hotels stopped offering an NRA discount.
“We did end our discount with the NRA at the end of last year,” Maire Griffin, Wyndham’s vice president of global communications, told ThinkProgress. “We no longer will offer this discount, period.”
A similar pressure campaign by a coalition of LGBTQ rights groups and gun violence prevention organizations began pressuring FedEx to do the same in 2016, but has not yet had success.
This story has been updated to clarify that AAA’s and AARP’s benefits are for their own members, not for members of the National Rifle Association.