The First National Bank of Omaha has offered its specially-branded National Rifle Association Visa cards for more than the last decade. This week, after just two days of public pressure, the bank has announced it is severing ties with the National Rifle Association and will not renew its contract.
According to the financial institution’s Twitter page:
“Customer feedback has caused us to review our relationship with the NRA. As a result, First National Bank of Omaha will not renew its contract with the National Rifle Association to issue the NRA Visa Card.”
Before Thursday, then, the First National Bank of Omaha was one of roughly two-dozen corporations to offer exclusive incentives to NRA members. Furthermore, neither the bank nor its parent company responded to consistent inquiries about whether the latest school shooting—in Parkland, FL—would be the breaking point that would make them reconsider their relationship with the group who continues to lead the charge that all the most recent oppose gun violence efforts.
Now, NRA members will still be able to purchase NRA-branded prepaid Visa debit cards because those are available through a different provider. And, of course, that provider, NetSpend, has also made it known it is now “reviewing its relationship” with the NRA.
Additionally, a spokesperson from Visa stressed that the company works hard to be accessible to everyone. This is why they are directly severing ties but allowing for third-parties to make their own choices, commenting: “Visa has no contractual or financial relationship with the NRA. Visa co-branded cards do not represent an endorsement by Visa of that cause or organization. We strive to make our payment services available to all people in all places for uses consistent with local, national, and international laws.”
First National Bank [of Omaha] serves financial communities in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota, Texas, and, of course, Nebraska.
In light of this move as a reaction to mass shootings, NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre asserts, “The NRA does care.” He adds, “Our American freedoms could be lost, and our country will be changed forever,” while at a gathering at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center of National Harbor, in Maryland. “And the first to go will be the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.”