The company said it will also raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21. Dick’s () will not sell high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to fire far more rounds than traditional weapons without reloading, as well as other accessories used with weapons similar to the AR-15.
The company stopped selling those military-style semiautomatic weapons in its Dick’s-branded stores after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, but it continued to sell those weapons at its 35 Field and Stream stores.
Now it will pull those weapons from all of its stores.
Walmart(), the nation’s largest retailer and a major seller of firearms, announced it would stop selling the military-style semiautomatic weapons in August 2015.
There have been widespread calls for tougher gun control measures in the week since the school shooting.
In a letter, Dick’s CEO Edward Stack said Parkland students’ calls for assault-style weapons bans are the reason the company is making this change.
“We have tremendous respect and admiration for the students organizing and making their voices heard regarding gun violence in schools and elsewhere in our country,’ he said in a letter released Wednesday. “We have heard you. The nation has heard you. 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. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us.”
“Some will say these steps can’t guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again. They may be correct — but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it,” he said in the letter.
The company does not break out how much revenue or profit it gets from firearm sales. The chain has a total of 852 stores. Unlike many other traditional retailers, it is adding — rather than closing — stores.
— CNN’s Kate Trafecante contributed to this report.
And this from ABC: Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., one of the largest retailers of its kind in the United States, is taking new steps to curtail the sale of firearms, including ending sales of assault-style rifles and banning the sale of guns to people younger than 21, the company announced this morning.
“Based on what’s happened and looking at those kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably,” company Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said today on “Good Morning America,” referring to the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 14 students and three educators.
“To think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had, we said, ‘We need to do something,'” Stack, whose father, Dick, started the business 70 years ago, explained. “And we’re taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently.”
The move follows the revelation that Nikolas Cruz, the alleged gunman behind the shooting rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, bought a gun at Dick’s in 2017. It was not the gun nor the kind of gun used in the massacre, however.
“We did everything by the book,” Stack said of Cruz. “We did everything that the law required and still he was able to buy a gun. When we looked at that, we said, ‘The systems that are in place across the board just aren’t effective enough to keep us from selling someone a gun like that.’”
The new measures go into effect today. Aside from Dick’s, the Pittsburgh-based, publicly traded company also operates stores under the Gold Galaxy, Field & Stream, True Runner and Chelsea Collective banners.
Dick’s announced a temporary suspension of assault-style rifles from its stores after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that killed 26 elementary school students and educators.
Assault-style rifles were later sold in the company’s Field & Stream stores, Stack said.
When asked whether there is a chance the company will reverse its position on the newly announced ban, Stack replied, “Never.”