Signs are emerging that companies and investors are starting to push back against the gun industry and its main lobbying group, the National Rifle Association (NRA), in the wake of last week’s Florida high school shooting.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said Thursday that it had heard from investors who no longer want their money associated with the firearms industry. The company said it intends to speak to gun manufacturers to “understand their response” to the attack.
“We are working with clients who want to exclude from their portfolios weapons manufacturers or other companies that don’t align with their values,” BlackRock spokesman Ed Sweeney told CNBC.
Meanwhile, First National Bank of Omaha announced Thursday that it will not renew its deal with the NRA for the “official credit card of the NRA.” For the last decade, the bank has issued an NRA-branded card that gives a cash-back bonus equivalent to the association’s annual membership fee.
“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA,” a spokesman said in a statement.
The bank was on a list of companies that have co-branding or other deals with the NRA, published earlier this week by the progressive site ThinkProgress.
Its NRA card was also highlighted in a New York Times opinion piece that called on the financial industry to exert its “leverage over the gun industry,” seeing as politicians—many of whom are funded by the NRA—continue to refrain from doing so.
Enterprise Holdings, which operates the car-rental brands Enterprise, Alamo and National, also announced Thursday that it was ending its corporate relationship with the NRA. The deal that gave the association members discounts will now end in late March.
The NRA’s response to the Florida shooting has been to claim that its critics “hate individual freedom.” President Donald Trump, meanwhile, has argued that more teachers should carry guns in order to ward off would-be attackers.
On Thursday, meanwhile, reports emerged that the school where the shooting took place, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School, had an armed guard who never challenged the shooter, instead waiting outside while the massacre took place. The campus cop has now resigned.