One of the nation’s largest sporting goods retailers is making a statement in the national gun debate. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced Wednesday, February 28, 2018 that it will no longer carry modern sporting rifles like an AR-15 in any of its stores. That includes Field and Stream and online sales. Dick’s will also no longer carry high-capacity magazines and will no longer sell guns to those under the age of 21.
This isn’t the first time Dick’s has taken a stand in this way. Dick’s actually banned the sale of modern sporting rifles in 2012 after the Sandy Hook school massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Dick’s later began selling those rifles through its subsidiary, Field and Stream stores. The decision and Wednesday’s announcement to ban sales in all stores came as a direct result of the recent school shootings in Parkland, Florida.
“We think it’s the right thing to do. After Parkland, we were so disturbed and saddened by what happened in Parkland that we said we need to do something,” explained Dick’s CEO, Edward Stack.
Stack said his company felt compelled to take a stand against recent gun violence in schools. In the Parkland school massacre, it hit Dick’s close to home because the suspect had purchased a gun from one of their stores. In a statement, Dick’s said…
“Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to "the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been. Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens."
Dick’s will also no longer sell any firearms to those under 21 year’s old…a measure Stack is encouraging the government to make into law. Most folks Fox 10 News asked about the decision were fine with it whether they were gun owners or not.
“Actually, I have multiple styles of firearms, pistols, rifles and shotguns, but I’m a full advocate of gun control and stricter laws,” said Michael Mahoney. “I don’t think it’s an infringement on our freedoms at all. More so it’s our responsibility as adults and law abiding citizens to make sure that there is proper regulation and structure.”
“I am thrilled because I have three grandchildren and two grown children that are studying to be teachers and I think it’s absolutely awesome,” Carol Hoover said. “They don’t need…most people don’t need that type of weapon anyway.”
We also heard no opposition to restricting the age of a gun buyer to 21.
“I can understand it. We sell a lot of products that are not allowed to be owned by teenagers and people under 21…beer, cigarettes…the legislature’s about to change to 21 we believe so I definitely understand that,” said convenience store owner, Kevin Spriggs.
Dick’s said it hopes others will join in their effort to let our kids know that their pleas are being taken seriously.
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