FedEx Takes Right Position on NRA, Faces Backlash

The shipping giant FedEx is coming under serious pressure to sever its ties with the NRA. Its president has issued a strong statement as to why they won't.

Like many other companies, shipping giant FedEx is coming under serious pressure to sever its ties with the NRA. Its president has issued a strong statement as to why they won’t:

FedEx Corporation’s positions on the issues of gun policy and safety differ from those of the National Rifle Association (NRA). FedEx opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians. While we strongly support the constitutional right of U.S. citizens to own firearms subject to appropriate background checks, FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused. We therefore support restricting them to the military. Most important, FedEx believes urgent action is required at the local, state, and Federal level to protect schools and students from incidents such as the horrific tragedy in Florida on February 14th.

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 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.

The second paragraph is perhaps more important than the first: It may well be that FedEx actually can’t discriminate against the NRA. But the first paragraph is a quintessential statement of the old aphorism, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” Sadly, that sentiment seems to have gone by the wayside too often of late.

FILED UNDER: Guns and Gun Control, US Politics, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. TM01 says:

    “Of late”?

    The Left stopped being classically Liberal ages ago.

    They were stealing and destroying the conservative campus newspaper at U of Illinois back in the 90s.

    They’ve just gotten more obvious and outright violent of late.

    “I may disagree with what you say, SO SHUT UP AND DIE YOU RACIST NAZI!!”

  2. gVOR08 says:


  3. Matt says:

    @TM01: Classical Liberal here. I lived near the Champaign/Urbana U of I campus in the 90s and I don’t have a clue what you’re referring to. Could you give a bit more details?

    I agree with Fedex’s decision here.

    BTW : Notice how “assault weapon” has now been morphed into “assault rifle” despite not meeting the traditional definition of assault rifle. A definition which has existed for over 100 years. This was probably the intent of the anti-gun people when they made up the term “assault weapon” in the early 90s.

    Real assault rifles have been heavily regulated since 1986.

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Stop being a racist Nazi and you’ll find people stop telling you you’re a racist Nazi.

  5. KM says:

    @TM01 :
    Get some help – seeing hallucinations everywhere is a bad sign. They’re not all out to get you, you know…..

  6. MarkedMan says:

    I agree with FEDEX’s decision here. It is very different than giving a discount for being an NRA member.

  7. JKB says:

    $640 million increase in market cap after the announcement. That’s probably not the backlash the grabbers wanted.

    The statement is amusing in that they don’t believe that civilians should have “assault rifles”. Rightly call for them only to be held by the military. It’s a clever statement.

  8. michael reynolds says:

    So FedEx offers discounts to the North American Man Boy Love Association? How about to the KKK?

    This is pure bullsh!t. Of course they make political decisions, of course they pick and choose, and they’ve decided the NRA is a ‘pick.’ Well, I’ve decided UPS is.

  9. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds: Here is why I believe the FEDEX marketing program is different. When I had my own business I had a FedEx account. My discount was based on the size of my business with them. There were special incentives, but none of them had to do with the business type. If this is the type of program FEDEX is talking about, I don’t see how they could start deciding to withhold it from certain businesses based on political beliefs.

    There are other programs that express a certain amount of approval. Senior discounts, discounts to Vets, teachers, first responders, etc. I think lobbying to have those pulled from the NRA is legitimate. But refusing to do standard business with someone simply because you don’t like their views is wrong.

    Side note: any guesses as to why FEDEX sometimes autocorrects to all caps and sometimes to FedEx?

  10. MarkedMan says:

    Did my response to Michael get caught in moderation?

  11. Kit says:

    I’m supposed to fight to the death for your right to promote policies that might lead directly to the death of me and mine? When the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must take a back seat to the unfettered right to bear arms, society has lost sight of its founding principles.

  12. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds: Given the interesting time loops we are getting with the new commenting system, where I can sometimes see some late breaking comments and then they disappear, I’m not sure if this comment was in response to my one that is showing up below?

    *FWIW, immediately after posting a comment, I think all other comments show up. But if you completely leave and come back the latest ones disappear.

  13. Gustopher says:

    @michael reynolds: Does NAMBLA or the KKK ship as much with FedEx as the NRA does? If we don’t have an example of FedEx exercising editorial authority over who can use its services, and who can qualify for these discount programs, I am hesitant to say that they must start picking and choosing now.

  14. gVOR08 says:

    This is both more and less complicated than right and wrong. I probably agree with FedEx’s stand in principle. However the owner of FedEx is apparently a big time conservative donor, so their position is perhaps not totally a matter of principle. FedEx is well able to defend themselves. The NRA (not gun owners, the NRA) should be ostracized by polite society and I don’t know how you change norms and apply social sanctions without, you know, applying social sanctions.

    The principle involved that I do feel strongly about is expecting Democrats/liberals to be punctiliously decent and honorable while holding Republicans/conservatives to no standards at all. But the bottom line is that this FedEx thing is trivia and I don’t really much care.

  15. gVOR08 says:

    Think Progress reports that USPS generally will not ship firearms. UPS and FEDEX will, but both have a policy of shipping guns only overnight (expensive). Except that FEDEX has a confidential exemption for almost all the gun manufactures. This likely gets FEDEX most of said business. So my above stated indifference to this as trivia per @gVOR08: is superceded. Fwck FEDEX.

  16. TM01 says:

    There was (don’t know if still is) a student published conservative paper, been awhile but I think it was called the observer.

    It was put out for free at various locations around campus.

    It was not uncommon to discover that a bunch of Leftists, rather than read an opposing viewpoint, would take the whole stack of papers and their them into a dumpster.

    And then you have fscks like michael reynolds, km, and gVOR08 who obviously support silencing opposing viewpoints, while predictably calling every everybody else a Nazi.

    Idiots like them are why it’s impossible to have a rational discussion about anything:
    Issue #1: Here’s a fact.
    Response: YOU’RE A NAZI!!

    So yeah…. I’ve had to deal with all this Leftist bull hooey for a long time.

    And the idiots on the left still refuse to even acknowledge it.

    Racist Nazi. Whatever, you useless fsck. Try and come up with a new insult.

    Or better yet, an actual argument.

  17. teve tory says:

    @michael reynolds: I wondered for a minute how there’re possibly 6 downvotes for this comment of yours, then I remembered that of all the commenters here there are five or six who I don’t bother with and just scroll past. So that kind of makes sense.

  18. Tyrell says:

    Delta now says that they will not give any discounts to any groups or organizations that are “divisive”. Well, that would include the WWE, PETA, NAACP, both political parties, the NFL, some church denominations, car dealers, bowling leagues, University of California/Berkeley, and UFC.

  19. Tyrell says:

    @Matt: And an eighth grader can turn any rifle into an “assault” rifle.

  20. Tyrell says:

    Delta now says that they will not give discounts to “divisive” groups. That could easily include these groups: WWE, NAACP, NFL, some church denominations, fast food restaurants, PETA, UFC, UC-Berkely, NCAA basketball bracket committee, UN, CFR, Trilateral Commission, both political parties, and many car dealers.

  21. gVOR08 says:

    The Atlanta paper asked how many tickets Delta had sold under the NRA discount program. Thirteen. Yes. One. Three.

  22. al-Ameda says:


    Idiots like them are why it’s impossible to have a rational discussion about anything:
    Issue #1: Here’s a fact.
    Response: YOU’RE A NAZI!!

    Do you have any examples of that here at OTB?
    Seriously, many conservatives now resort to “why bother, you’ll call me a racist if I express an opinion that’s different than yours.” In fact, during the Obama years it became common for many conservatives to say something like, “When we criticize Obama you call us racists…” When in fact, if the criticism was about a policy difference, and not some (actually) racist dog-whistle stuff, no so such accusation was made.