Delta ends NRA partnership and orders gun group to remove airline's information from website, amid growing backlash

Emily Shugerman
A Delta Airlines planes taxis at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in Arlington, Virginia: DANIEL SLIM/AFP/Getty Images

A major American airline has stopped giving discounts to members of the National Rifle Association, joining a slew of companies that have cut ties with the gun-rights lobbying group in the wake of a Florida school shooting.

Delta Airlines announced on Twitter that they would be ending the NRA's contract for discounted rates through their group travel program. They also asked the group to remove all information on the airline from their website.

On Saturday morning, the NRA's annual meetings site still stated that they had contracted special flight discounts with United Airlines and Delta Airlines for members attending the their annual meetings and exhibits.

"By booking your itinerary with United Airlines for Delta Airlines, you will receive up to 2-10% off their online airfares," the site said.

At least seven major US companies have severed ties with the NRA in the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 14 children and three adults were killed by a gunman with an assault rifle. The pro-gun group has become a focal point for those advocating for stricter gun control and more action from politicians since the shooting.

Student survivor Emma Gonzales said she wanted the organisation to "dismantle," telling CNN: "They are against the people who are dying. And there's no other way to put it at this point. You are either funding the killers or you are standing with the children."

Classmate David Hogg urged more companies to end their partnerships with the NRA on Twitter, using the hashtag #NRABoycott.

Car rental companies like Enterprise and Hertz, and moving companies like Allied Van Lines and NorthAmerican Van Lines have all ended partnerships with the organisation amid the backlash.

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre defended the organisation this week in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, claiming that gun-control advocates wanted to "get rid of the second amendment" and make Americans "less free".

“They don’t care if their laws work or not,” he said. "They just want get more laws to get more control over people."

President Donald Trump also defended the organisation on Twitter, saying their employees were "great people and great American patriots" who would "do the right thing".

The president has suggested several gun control measures that put him at odds with the organisation, including raising the minimum age for assault rifle purchases and expanding background checks. He has also suggested arming teachers in order to discourage school shooters.