U.S. companies end ties with gun group NRA

An increasing number of companies are announcing plans to sever ties with the USA's National Rifle Association (NRA) following the latest high-school shooting massacre. The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in South Florida, in which 17 students and staff lost their lives, could be a watershed for gun control in the USA. Many high profile companies are calling for gun control and are cutting ties with the powerful NRA lobby group. United Airlines, Delta Airlines and Hertz are among many companies to end special discounts and benefits for NRA staff and members. There is also a growing campaign on social media for greater gun control in the USA.

The NRA made a statement attacking the failure of both school and federal systems for the high school tragedy. It said: "The law-abiding members of the NRA had nothing at all to do with the failure of that school's security preparedness, the failure of America's mental health system…or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement." It added that: "Despite that, some corporations have decided to punish NRA membership in a shameful display of political and civic cowardice." An NRA spokesman hit back at the companies, saying: "The loss of a discount will neither scare nor distract one single NRA member from our mission to stand and defend individual freedoms."