Over the weekend Delta Airlines, alongside United and a handful of other companies, announced that it would be severing ties with the National Rifle Association. The move follows the tragic Parkland, Florida shooting that left 17 people dead. Specifically, Delta ended its discount for NRA members.
Georgia’s Republican lieutenant governor Casey Cagle is now threatening the Atlanta-based airline company over its decision to step away from its relationship with the NRA. “I will kill any tax legislation that benefits @Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with the @NRA,” Cagle tweeted Monday.
The legislation in question is a $50 million “airline tax break” the company is pitching at the state level for all airlines, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
But Delta is maintaining its claim that the removal of the NRA’s discount is a neutral political move, rather than an anti-conservative one. “Delta’s decision reflects the airline’s neutral status in the current national debate over gun control amid recent school shootings,” a statement on the airline’s site reads. “Out of respect for our customers and employees on both sides, Delta has taken this action to refrain from entering this debate and focus on its business. Delta continues to support the 2nd Amendment.”
The company also cited an instance when it previously withdrew its support from a theater group that interpreted Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar using a depiction of a Donald Trump assassination. “Delta supports all of its customers but will not support organizations on any side of any highly charged political issue that divides our nation,” the statement reads.