The push for gun control after the Parkland school shooting has won a major victory, after a major sporting chain has announced they will no longer sell “assault style” rifles and high-capacity magazines. The retailer also announced they will no longer sell guns to anyone under 21. Video of the announcement is included below.
In an interview on ABC’s “Good Morning America” with George Stephanopoulos, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack announced the decision to remove “assault-style” weapons from his stores, along with additional restrictions on gun products.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc (DKS.N) on Wednesday said it was permanently curbing certain gun sales at all of its stores in the wake of the recent massacre at a high school in Florida that has re-ignited a fierce debate over gun control in America.
“We’re taking these guns out of all of our stores permanently,” Stack said, adding that he was prepared for any potential backlash toward the business.
Pennsylvania-based Dick’s sells weapons through its Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream stores.
Stack said there were not enough systematic protections to prevent gun sales to people who are potential threats, and urged Congress to act comprehensively not only on background checks but also on mental health and other possible solutions.
“The systems that are in place across the board just aren’t effective enough to keep us from selling someone a gun like that and so we’ve decided that we’re not gong to sell the assault-type rifles anymore,” Stack told ABC.
The following announcement was posted on the Dick’s Sporting Goods website, as well as on social media.
We at DICK’S Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones.
But thoughts and prayers are not enough.
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.
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. 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.
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.
We believe it’s time to do something about it.
Beginning today, DICK’S Sporting Goods is committed to the following:
- We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.
- We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.
- We will no longer sell high capacity magazines.
- We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations:
- Ban assault-style firearms
- Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
- Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks
- Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
- Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
- Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks
We hope others join us in this effort to let our kids know that their pleas are being taken seriously.
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.
We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe.
Edward W. Stack
Chairman & CEO
DICK’S Sporting Goods
Here is video of the interview on Good Morning America.