Students and educators were gunned down at their school in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago, and corporate America is responding. Kroger announced that stores will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to buyers under 21, joining Walmart and Dick's this week in restricting sales of various items. Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports other companies are distancing themselves from the NRA.
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We return now to the debate around guns and the calls for new action.
Many notable companies are jumping into the fray in a way they have not previously.
In a moment, Hari Sreenivasan explores the issues of gun and money, but first some background from economics correspondent Paul Solman.
It’s part of our weekly series Making Sense.
Seventeen students and educators were gunned down in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago, and corporate America is now responding.
Kroger announced today that its Fred Meyer stores will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to buyers under 21, joining Wal-Mart, which claims 130 million Americans shoppers a month.
Wal-Mart did stop selling high-powered rifles like the AR-15 in 2015, but said this is done solely on customer demand. Yesterday, however, Wal-Mart announced that, in light of recent events, it is also removing items resembling assault-style rifles from its Web site, toy weapons, that is.
The first company to restrict sales this week was Dick’s Sporting Goods, which not only raised the minimum age for purchasing guns to 21, but announced an immediate halt to the sale of all assault-style rifles, including at its Field & Stream stores.
CEO Edward Stack told ABC’s “Good Morning America” that Parkland was the tipping point.
Looking at those kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably. And to think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had, we said we need to do something, and we’re taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently.
The retailer announcements come as other companies are trying to distance themselves from the National Rifle Association.
United Airlines will no longer offer discounts to its members, nor will rental car agencies Hertz and Enterprise, nor insurer MetLife.
And Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines will discontinue reduced rates for NRA members.
That prompted Georgia’s Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle to threaten retaliation.
Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle, R-Ga.:
I’m tired of conservatives being kicked around on our values, and is time that we stand up and fight and show corporations that conservative values are important.
Cagle presides over the Georgia Senate.
Today, the state legislature passed a tax bill that includes stripping a longstanding jet fuel tax break for Delta. As for the NRA, it has called the moves made by Delta and others — quote — “a shameful display of political and civic cowardice. The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission.”
And some companies are maintaining their relationship with the NRA. FedEx continues to offer shipping discounts to NRA members, though it says it disagrees with the NRA’s stance on assault weapons.
This is economics correspondent Paul Solman for the PBS NewsHour.