COVID Is So Bad Even Gun Makers Are Ditching NRA’s Big Party

exclusive Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast/Photos Getty Despite a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, the National Rifle Association is moving ahead with its massive annual conference in Texas next month—and major gun manufacturers are having second thoughts, with some even asking NRA officials to call off the event entirely. According to text messages between high-ranking executives obtained by The Daily Beast, multiple gun makers are pulling out of the conference and quietly trying to pressure the NRA to cancel it. Most of the largest American gun makers have taken steps to drop out, from informing the NRA that they won’t be attending to cancelling travel plans. These companies include Benelli USA, Browning, FN Herstal, Kimber Manufacturing, Savage Arms, Smith & Wesson, Springfield Armory, Sig Sauer, and Sturm, Ruger & Company, according to people with knowledge of internal communications at these companies. In these texts, some of the companies said, with rising COVID cases among their employees, they had already begun encouraging work from home, pulled sales reps from the road, and forced mask-wearing on company grounds. None of these companies returned calls and emails requesting comment. Meanwhile, the American arms of Italy’s Beretta and Germany’s Heckler & Koch have already positioned themselves to skip the convention, out of concern for the health and safety of staff, but appear to be waiting on the NRA to cancel it to avoid drawing the ire from the powerful industry group and the public, two people familiar with situation and another source briefed […]

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