Sanford: FedEx needs to take stronger stand on NRA

AP Photo/ Gene J. Puskar, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — You know things are getting heated when Memphis-based shipping giant FedEx feels the need to respond – twice – to criticism over its association with the National Rifle Association.

The company and Fred Smith are trying to put as much distance as possible between FedEx and the NRA over banning assault weapons. Yet, the company is not giving in to pressure to end shipping discounts for NRA members.

FedEx was thrust into the gun debate after several companies, including car rental firms and major airlines, stopped offering discounts to NRA members. FedEx was called out last weekend by one of the more vocal student survivors of the Florida school shooting.

On Tuesday, Smith pointed out that he has never contributed money to the NRA. The company also said it opposes assault rifles in the hands of civilians, but FedEx defended the discount program, saying it is not in the business of discriminating against customers based on their political views.

FedEx is not only the largest private employer in Memphis, but it has a respected brand identity that reaches around the world. Simply saying where the company stands on assault weapons is not enough. The NRA is stubbornly on the wrong side of this national debate and FedEx needs to take a stronger stand.

– Otis Sanford