Two weeks after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members, one of America’s largest nationwide sporting goods store has issued a major announcement. Dick’s Sporting Goods said Wednesday that it will immediately end its sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores.
According to The New York Times, the nationwide sports retailer said it will also no longer sell high-capacity magazines, and will prevent the sale of a firearm to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws.
“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” said Edward Stack, chief executive of Dick’s in an interview Tuesday evening. “We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘enough is enough.’ It got to us.”
He added, “We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation.”
This action is one of the strongest positions taken by a corporate entity in the national gun debate. Late last week several companies, including Hertz car rental, MetLife insurance and Delta Air Lines, publicly cut ties with the National Rifle Association, ending discounts from the NRA that their loyal customers enjoyed.
Stack also said that his company hopes that along with its decision to end the sale of assault rifles, he is also calling on elected officials to enact “common sense gun reform” by passing laws.
Some of those laws, he hoped, would raise the minimum age to purchase a gun, to 21, ban assault-style weapons and bump stocks, and conduct broader background checks when someone wants to purchase a gun, including exchanging information on the mental health of persons and previous interactions with law enforcement.
After the Parkland shooting, Stack said Dick’s Sporting Goods searched its database and found that it had sold a gun to Nikolas Cruz, the shooter in the Parkland massacre. Stack said that the gun he purchased from them was not the same one used in that shooting two weeks ago.
“But it came to us that we could have been a part of this story,” he said. “We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer.’”
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