As the year draws to a close, FedEx has found itself under fire from a coalition of gay-rights and gun-control activists who are upset that the shipping giant offers discounts to members of the National Rifle Association.
The group has launched an online campaign and planned protests today outside FedEx stores in Denver, Atlanta, Memphis, and Orlando.
The deal between FedEx and the NRA means its 5 million members get a 26 percent discount as part of a program that also has special offers for Visa cards, according to this story from adage.com.
“This isn’t like a senior discount,” said Igor Volsky, director of the anti-gun group Guns Down, in this story from heatst.com. “This is a discount that empowers and subsidizes an organization that is actively working to make life more dangerous by gutting background checks and allowing guns in schools.”
Ten organizations planned protests Wednesday.
The story says that FedEx has only responded by saying they will not comment about specific customer agreements.
“If FedEx supports the lives of our children and the safety of our communities, they shouldn’t help subsidize the NRA killing industry,” said Jason Lindsay, Pride Fund’s executive director, in the story.
As we have reported before, support for gun control within the LGBT community is hardly unanimous. Pink Pistols, a national gun rights and pro-concealed carry organization says “armed queers don’t get bashed” and its local chapters help gay and trans people learn to shoot and get their concealed carry license.
While the shooting at the Pulse nightclub last year is often touted as a reason for gun control, Gwendolyn Patton, spokesperson for Pink Pistols, says the Pulse shooting is a reason to support responsible gun ownership, the story says.
Interest in Pink Pistols has skyrocketed since the Pulse massacre, as we’ve reported, with membership surging from 1,500 before the shooting to over 9,000 after.
“We’ve run into a basic divide here, and I think it’s based on an awful lot of political ideology,” Patton says in the story. “The stereotype of those on the right is that they don’t like gays but they do like guns, and then there’s the opposite stereotype, that if you’re on the left you don’t like guns but you do like gays. That perspective is based on the premise that gay people should give up their right to self defense, give up their right to guns, so they can get their gay rights from the politicians who support gun control. I personally don’t like that. Why do we have to give up some rights?”
According to guns.com, this isn’t the first time LGBT anti-gun groups have targetted FedEx over their deal with the NRA. In November, New York-based Gays Against Guns targeted Hertz, FedEx, and Wyndham Worldwide in a Cyber Mondayprotest over the business’ discount policies for NRA members. A demonstration was held outside of Hertz HQ on 34th Street in New York City and moved to the nearby Wyndham Hotel.