HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – After the National Rifle Association (NRA) sent letters to its members stating YETI, the popular cooler company, cut ties with the NRA, people started posting their disappointment in an explosive way.
The letter, dated April 20, states the company “declined to do business” with the non-profit organization “without prior notice.” The NRA Foundation says the company only said it will no longer sell products to the foundation.
The nonprofit says it raises money to support youth programs nationwide through programs for future hunters, bikers and other outdoor activities.
“That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed,” wrote Marion P. Hammer, who is a past president of the NRA.
Hartsville resident Bryan Atkinson decided if YETI would cut ties with the NRA, he would cut ties with the cooler company. Atkinson packed his YETI cooler full of explosives Monday afternoon.
“There’s the famous YETI,” Atkinson says as he opens the ice chest. “There’s the famous 22 pounds of Tannerite. This YETI ain’t ready.”
Two other men in the video are seen carrying the cooler loaded with explosives into the middle of a field.
“YETI can’t stand behind the NRA, I ain’t standing behind YETI no more,” Atkinson says as he retrieves a gun from the pickup truck. “Y’all get ready. It’s going down.”
Atkinson is seen on the video steadying a rifle before shooting the cooler, which explodes in a large bang and white plume of smoke.
“There goes that YETI,” Atkinson says.
The explosion apparently prompted those living nearby to call the police department. On the Hartsville Police Department Facebook page, officers mention Atkinson’s video in regards to the loud explosion, and ask that any disgruntled YETI owners, donate their coolers to the department.
“If you have excess Yeti Coolers to blow up, instead; feel free to donate them to the police department, where we can use them to store cold water and sports drinks for our officers during the summer months.”
In a response issued Monday afternoon, Yeti says it eliminated a “group of outdated discounting programs.” When it notified the NRA Foundation, as well as other organizations, the company said it offered them an “alternative customization program.”
In the past few months, numerous companies have dropped their discount programs for NRA members.