As more than two dozen companies have moved to cut ties with the NRA in the wake of the Parkland, FL school shooting, stunning new details about FedEx’s relationship to the gun rights advocacy group have come to light. FedEx declined to cut ties with the NRA even under mounting pressure from the public.
ThinkProgress revealed in an exclusive report the true nature of the shipping giant’s connection to the NRA.
FedEx initially reported that it was unable to deny its services to the NRA because it would constitute discrimination. It did try to distance itself from the gun lobby in a soft statement on Monday.
“FedEx has never provided any donation or sponsorship to the NRA which is one of hundreds of alliance and association participants that serve more than one million customers,” the statement said.
Then the company doubled down on the distancing in a second statement Tuesday. That statement made a point of saying that the NRA uses UPS to ship from its online store.
But the real deal is that FedEx cut a secret deal with the NRA to ship guns, one that was not known publicly until a source leaked the information to ThinkProgress in a document, labeled “Confidential information. Internal use only.”
The US Postal service will only ship guns under very specific circumstances, like if it’s an historic item and going to a museum.
UPS will ship guns, but only via expensive overnight ship. FedEx’s public policy is the same.
But according to this confidential document, the company does not treat all public clients the same. FedEx has struck a deal with multiple gun manufacturers.
“Some customers have been approved for an exception to ship firearms with a 2-day (AM or PM) service,” the confidential document says.
That service is provided to 86 gun major gun manufacturers.
This seriously cuts the cost of shipping guns and explains FedEx’s reluctance to cut ties with such a huge source of its business.
So FedEx’s initial statement rings hollow now.
“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. 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.”
This isn’t about preserving rights for all Americans or avoiding nasty discrimination. This is about FedEx’s bottom line.