(CBS Local) – Gun owners around the country are blowing up expensive coolers after the NRA accused outdoor lifestyle company Yeti of joining a nationwide boycott of the gun-rights organization.
According to a letter from Marion P. Hammer of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action, Yeti has cut ties with the NRA and is refusing to do business with the NRA Foundation or offer discounts to members. “YETI should be ashamed. They have declined to continue helping America’s young people enjoy outdoor recreational activities,” Hammer claims in the April 20 statement.
In response to the news, NRA members and supporters have begun taking their frustrations out on the company’s hottest item: outdoor coolers. In a number of online videos boycotting Yeti, gun owners are seen destroying the expensive containers by loading them with explosives and shooting them. “This Yeti ain’t ready,” South Carolina resident Bryan Atkinson declared before obliterating his cooler.
The pricey coolers reportedly cost anywhere between $250 and $1,300; making a discount on Yeti camping and hunting gear very helpful to consumers. “If Yeti can’t stand behind the NRA, I ain’t standing behind Yeti no more,” Atkinson added in a Facebook post.
Yeti is disputing the NRA’s claims that they’ve joined a boycott against pro-gun Americans. “Yeti notified the NRA Foundation, as well as a number of other organizations, that we were eliminating a group of outdated discounting programs,” the company wrote in a statement posted to Facebook. The outdoor lifestyle supplier added that they’re offering business partners like the NRA alternative programs and called claims that Yeti was turning their backs on young gun owners untrue.
Several organizations including airlines and rental car companies have cut ties with the National Rifle Association in the wake of the deadly Parkland, Florida school shooting which killed 17 people in February. Since the shooting, many Americans have lashed out at the NRA for their stance on assault rifles and lobbying efforts against tighter gun laws.
Although Yeti says that their policy change on discounts is not related to the boycott, the decision was made less than two months after groups began to cut ties with the pro-gun group. Bank of America joined the movement in mid-April when the company announced that it would no longer lend money to companies which produce assault-style weapons for civilians.