Dick's to curtail gun sales in Field & Stream stores
- Dick's Sporting Goods will no longer sell assault-style rifles, "also referred to as modern sporting rifles," at any of its 35 Field & Stream stores, CEO Edward Stack said in a media statement posted Wednesday on the company's website. The retailer had already removed them from all Dick's stores after the Sandy Hook, CT massacre, the company said.
- The retailer is also ending firearms sales to anyone under 21 years of age, will no longer sell high capacity magazines and "never has and never will" sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly, according to the statement.
- "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," Stack wrote in the message, which also said that the retailer is supporting tougher gun control legislation.
Stack himself is a gun owner, he told CNN on Wednesday morning, and he said he believes incidents like the tragic shooting at a high school in Parkland, FL this month are against the values of most gun owners. The company has the full cooperation of its customers and its employees, he also said.
Because age laws around gun sales differ, it can be confusing to know what is allowed and what isn't, Stack told CNN, adding that the company's lawyers advised that the retailer is within its rights to refuse sales to anyone under 21.
"We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens," he said in the statement. "But we have to help solve the problem that's in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that's taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America – our kids."
The fact that a Dick's store was among those that sold arms to the teenager now in custody over the Parkland shooting "clearly ... indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens," Stack wrote. "We believe it's time to do something about it."
To that end, the company is moving to advance tougher gun control laws, according to the statement. The company called on lawmakers to ban assault-style firearms, raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21, ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks and require universal background checks, among other measures.
"We at DICK'S Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland," Stack said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones. But thoughts and prayers are not enough."
- Dick's Sporting Goods Media Statement
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