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Steve Sando

Steve Sando, owner and founder of Rancho Gordo, recently made the decision to cut ties with shipping provider FedEx, due to its support of the National Rifle Association. He says that in 2017 his business spent more than $500,000 on shipping with the company but will now find another carrier.

J.L. Sousa, Register

Steve Sando, the owner of Rancho Gordo New World Specialty Food, spends more than half a million dollars each year shipping his heirloom beans to destinations worldwide.

Until Monday, March 5, FedEx shipped the lion’s share.

But not anymore.

Sando, who said he was fed up with gun violence, stopped using FedEx as his main shipper.

Sando said he could no longer work with FedEx because it provides discounts to National Rifle Association members.

“The NRA is a really powerful machine that doesn’t allow dialog about gun violence,” said Sando.

Sando, who described his politics as “progressive,” said he doesn’t want his business to be associated with such a group.

This small business owner said he’s always been shocked by the school shootings in the U.S. But after his own son, a New Technology High School student, was part of a lockdown during the Jan. 17 shooting at Starbucks, “it became personal,” said Sando.

Sando said the incident challenged his “‘It couldn’t happen here’ mentality.”

Then, after hearing about how other companies were dropping FedEx because of the shipping discount that FedEx offers NRA members (from 18 to 26 percent), Sando said he’d had enough.

“I was really encouraged” to follow suit, he said.

Sando explained his decision to his FedEx representative and also wrote a letter to the president of FedEx. He said he gave the company one last chance to change its mind, but as of Monday, the NRA member discount remained.