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Sen. Steve Daines addresses house legislators

Sen. Steve Daines addresses house legislators Wednesday afternoon.

Thom Bridge,

Montana U.S. Sen. Steve Daines, a Republican, tweeted Saturday evening he's looking for a new airline after Delta Air Lines announced it would stop offering discounts to National Rifle Association members.

"I’m a Diamond frequent flyer on @Delta and @NRA Lifetime Member," Daines tweeted. "I’m looking for a new airline."

But on Tuesday, the senator said in an emailed statement that Montana's limited access to other airlines presents a problem for him to not use Delta.

On Tuesday, Daines' staff emailed the following statement:

“Delta's knee jerk response to demonize tens of thousands of Montanans who are NRA members is wrong, and worse, it makes thoughtful and meaningful dialogue that much more difficult.

"Montana is held captive by a couple of carriers which makes it difficult for consumers to select other options. It is greatly disappointing these companies would scapegoat honest law abiding Americans who love their country, want to protect their families, and believe strongly that the Constitution of the United States is worth defending."

United Airlines also said it was cutting ties with the NRA, though Daines did not address that. At least a dozen other companies made similar moves in the wake of a recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Montana's busiest airport is in Bozeman, Daines' hometown. Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport has six airlines that fly in, including Delta, United, American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, Allegiant and Alaska.

Missoula International Airport's website  says it has flights with those airlines as well.

The website  for Billings Logan International Airport lists daily flights arriving from United, Delta, American, Allegiant and Alaska as well, in addition to the essential air service provider Cape Air.


State Bureau reporter for The Independent Record.

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