Democracy Dies in Darkness


Rental cars, hearing aids, insurers: Since Parkland, a list of companies that have taken action on guns

March 2, 2018 at 6:00 AM

Guns for sale are seen inside of Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Stroudsburg, Pa., U.S., February 28, 2018. (Reuters/Eduardo Munoz)

More than two weeks after a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fla., the number of companies cutting ties with the National Rifle Association, or changing its policies on firearm sales, does not appear to be slowing.

While lawmakers are often seen to wield the heftiest influence when it comes to tightening restrictions on guns, companies including retailers, insurers, and tech firms have also come under scrutiny for links to the gun industry and NRA. To some consumers, many of whom rallied around the viral hashtag #BoycottNRA, those ties show a complicity with the status quo as America reckons with its latest mass shooting.

“In terms of assessing what the companies are doing from a moral perspective, I think what strikes me is that it’s always better to do something because you want to than because you have to,” said Joe Holt, an expert on business ethics at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendoza College of Business.

Holt pointed to other instances when companies have weighed in on political or social issues, including in the aftermath of President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, or Trump’s remarks after white supremacist protests in Charlottesville.

But even on “very big, hot-button social issues,” there tends to be a buildup of corporate voices for five or six days before momentum dies down, said Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist at the public relations firm Weber Shandwick. That hasn’t been the case after Parkland, Gaines-Ross said, adding that the organized “March for Our Lives” on March 24 is still weeks away.

“I think having that date far out is going to maybe be the bookend,” Gaines-Ross said. “I think that march gives companies time to decide what they want to do.”

From airlines to hearing aid manufacturers, here is a sampling of the companies that have ended their relationships with the NRA or the gun industry, have yet to make a change, or have affirmed their current policies.

Cut ties with the NRA

Taking a stance on gun control

No change in policy

Rachel Siegel is a national business reporter. She previously contributed to the Post's Metro desk, The Marshall Project and The Dallas Morning News.

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