Dick’s Sporting Goods, among the nation’s largest retailers of sports equipment, will no longer sell assault-style rifles at its stores, the company said Wednesday morning.
The sporting goods chain also will no longer sell firearms to anyone under the age of 21 and will no longer sell high-capacity magazines.
Dick’s decision to alter its policies surrounding the sale of firearms follows a mass shooting earlier this month at a high school in Parkland, Florida, where a former student allegedly opened fire with an assault-type rifle, killing 17 people. The attack has prompted renewed discussion of stricter gun control laws across the U.S.
“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” Dick’s CEO Edward Stack told The New York Times in an interview. “We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘enough is enough.’ It got to us.”
Stack said his company checked its internal records in the wake of the shooting to see whether it had previously sold firearms to the Parkland gunman. Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter, had indeed purchased a gun from Dick’s, although that particular weapon was not used in the attack. Still, Stack said, the fact that Cruz had bought a gun from Dick’s was enough to prompt the company to take steps to avoid being part of future attacks.
Dick’s will continue to sell firearms used for sport and hunting, Stack told the Times, and remain a supporter of Second Amendment rights. But the company’s chief executive also said he is aware that the move will meet with criticism by some and that he hopes Dick’s decision will be part of a larger national discussion.
“If the kids in Parkland are being brave enough to stand up and do this, we can be brave enough to stand up with them,” he said.
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
February 28th, 2018