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Jeni’s Ice Cream founder threatens to ditch FedEx over partnership with NRA

Cookbook author and founder of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream Jeni Britton Bauer is threatening to ditch FedEx if the delivery service doesn’t sever ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA). In an Instagram post, Bauer said customers are demanding action and if they don’t get it, the James Beard Award winner would take her artisanal ice cream pints elsewhere.

Bauer’s protest comes in the wake of the fatal school shooting in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were murdered by a former student with an assault rifle. Shortly after, companies were criticized for their ties to the NRA, including FedEx, which offers discounted rates on shipping for members.

In Bauer’s video — which displayed the text “Your move, @fedex” — the 44-year-old entrepreneur said: “And you know exactly what I’m talking about — I’m talking about the NRA. I’m talking about stricter gun control. The majority of Americans want it and the NRA is supporting stuff that we don’t get behind. OK? UPS is out there, man!”

A post shared by jeni britton bauer (@jenibrittonbauer) on Feb 26, 2018 at 6:40am PST

An accompanying caption stated that while “#teamjenis” loves FedEx, the delivery company needs to “drop [its] support of the NRA or we will be looking at other options.” Bauer noted that the withdrawal of her business would cost the courier over 100,000 shipments.

Bauer — who has curated legendary ice cream and sorbet for two decades — carried the debate over to Twitter, where she announced that she has begun exploring new carriers.

Listen, @FedEx @FedExHelp we ❤️ you but team Jeni’s will begin to explore other options today. We are not your biggest customer, but you KNOW we’re not small either. Remember that semi truck you docked on our bay just for us last holiday? Drop your support of the @NRA please.

In a release, FedEx said its positions on gun policy and safety issues differ from those of the NRA and that it opposes assault rifles being in the hands of civilians.

“While we strongly support the constitutional right of U.S. citizens to own firearms subject to appropriate background checks, FedEx views assault rifles and large capacity magazines as an inherent potential danger to schools, workplaces, and communities when such weapons are misused,” the brand wrote, adding that it supports restricting these weapons to the military.

FedEx responds to questions on the National Rifle Association, gun safety and policy

FedEx also pointed out that its pricing program not only serves NRA members, but American small businesses and consumers that are members of the association.

“First, the pricing program that is the focus of these concerns is not for the NRA itself — it is for American small businesses and consumers that are members of the association. For shipping from its online store, the NRA uses UPS and not FedEx,” the statement continued, adding that the company has “never provided any donation or sponsorship to the NRA” and that it “remains committed to all our customers and the pricing we provide them independent of their political affiliations and views.”

Some brands that have ended relationships with the NRA include Delta Airlines, United Airlines, Enterprise Holdings, Hertz, Avis, Budget, Symantec, TrueCar, MetLife, SimpliSafe, First National Bank of Omaha, Allied Van Lines, Paramount Rx, Best Western, Wyndham Hotel Group, Republic Bank, and Starkey Hearing Technologies.

In response, USA Today reports that the NRA optimistically said that eventually these businesses will “be replaced by others” that are eager to align themselves publicly with the values of NRA members.

Most Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream customers seem to be fairly pleased with Bauer’s values, at least as far as product quality is concerned. The chain made it to No. 5 on our list of the 12 best ice cream parlors in America.