The National Rifle Association says companies that are severing ties with the gun rights group and its members are wrongly punishing them for a shooting at a Florida high school that claimed 17 lives.

In a statement, NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said the group's five million members have long enjoyed discounts and benefits from many American corporations.

"Since the tragedy in Parkland, Florida, a number of companies have decided to sever their relationship with the NRA, in an effort to punish our members who are doctors, farmers, law enforcement officers, fire fighters, nurses, shop owners and school teachers that live in every American community," the statement said.

The group says it had "nothing at all to do with the failure of that school's security preparedness ... or the cruel failures of both federal and local law enforcement."


Companies, including Delta and United Airlines, said they had joined the list that cut ties to the gun industry since the February 15 shooting at the school in Parkland.

The NRA statement called the moves a "shameful display of political and civic cowardice."

Both Delta and United said they will no longer offer discounted fares to NRA members to attend their annual meetings, and both have asked the gun rights group to remove any references to their companies from the NRA website.

Rental car company Hertz will no longer offer a discount programme to NRA members and First National Bank of Omaha said it will not renew a co-branded credit card it has with the NRA.

- AP