Dick's Sporting Goods Ends All Sales Of Assault-Style Weapons In Its Stores

by Valerie Williams
Image via Scott Olson/Staff/Getty Images

Dick’s won’t sell guns to anyone under 21 and is ending all sales of assault-style weapons

The usual cycle after a mass shooting involves a whole lot of thoughts and prayers, some arguing about tighter gun laws, and an eventual fade where the issue is no longer discussed until the next tragedy happens. It seems the horrific shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School earlier this month has changed all of that. As students have stepped up and started to insist on tighter gun laws, actual change is finally happening.

Now, one of the nation’s largest outdoor gear retailers is ending the sale of assault-style weapons in its stores.

It’s hard to overstate how huge it is that a company this size is choosing to stop the sale of assault-style weapons and to refuse to sell guns to anyone under 21 without a law forcing them to do so, but those are the changes Dick’s Sporting Goods announced this morning. The retailer’s Chairman and CEO, Edward Stack, appeared on Good Morning America today and said the company “felt it needed to do something” in the wake of the Parkland shooting that claimed 17 lives.

“We’re staunch supporters of the Second Amendment. I’m a gun owner myself,” Stack said. “We’ve just decided that based on what’s happened and with these guns, we don’t want to be part of this story.”

The company also issued a statement on its Twitter account clarifying the reasoning behind the policy changes:

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones,” the statement reads. “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. … the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.”

The chain announced the changes it plans to make in its own gun sales policies. In addition to halting the sale of assault-style rifles and refusing to sell guns to anyone under age 21, they’re also stopping the sale of high capacity magazines. They state that they’ve never and will never sell bump stocks.

They also laid out the “common sense gun reform” they’d like to see our country enact:

According to NPR, the chain, which operates 715 stores, had already stopped the sale of assault-style rifles after the shooting at Sandy Hook. They will now stop the sale of those weapons at subsidiary Field & Stream stores as well.

Stack also shared on Good Morning America that MSD shooter Nikolas Cruz purchased one of his guns at a Dick’s store. It was not the gun used in the shooting, and Stack states that all existing laws were followed in the sale of that weapon. But the CEO feels the laws currently in place won’t stop the sale of guns to dangerous people and that it’s up to lawmakers to effect change. Until they do, Dick’s is taking action.

Even though Stack acknowledges there will be some backlash, the move has plenty cheering.

Stack says, “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.”

And now I know where I’m going to buy all of my kids’ baseball equipment this spring. Bravo, Dick’s.