Having been in the Outdoors industry for two decades, I have had a bird’s eye view of the ebb and flow of Second Amendment support. Most gun owners I’ve met believe in personal freedoms. When that comes to corporations however, the decision to suspend or halt sales of certain items has often earned the ire of the gun owning community. Each business must weigh its corporate social responsibility to the community to potential repercussions from the consumer. Formal boycotts, social media rants, and the choice to take consumer dollars elsewhere as a form of silent protest are the norm, and that is simply due to a business’ decision of whether to carry a certain product or line of products. Dick’s Sporting Goods is one of the latest examples, but Dick’s has far surpassed a simple decision to not sell particular items.
Dick’s Sporting Goods Decisions
Dick’s Sporting Goods made the decision after the Sandy Hook tragedy to stop selling Modern Sporting Rifles (MSRs) in its Dick’s Sporting Goods stores, but continued sales in its 35 Field and Stream branded stores. Yesterday, Dick’s came out with the following press release that not only announces the decision to discontinue selling MSRs in all of its stores, but sadly, Dick’s went much further. The press release brands MSRs as assault-style weapons and goes on to say it will implore lawmakers to make MSRs illegal, ban high capacity magazines, and bump stocks or similar accessories or components that could allow a shooter to increase a firearm’s rate of fire.
Here is the official press release from Dick’s.
Wednesday, February 28, 2018
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
Ultimately, public sentiment and consumer dollars will be the best indication of whether the CEO’s impassioned explanation will be received positively or negatively. The purpose of the article is not to argue one way or the other. Instead, the purpose is report relevant Second Amendment news and provide a forum for discussion on the merits, or lack of, Dick’s decision. I am sure I could predict the feelings or point of view of The Armory’s readers on this point, but we want to hear from you.
Since Dick’s already stopped selling MSRs as a reaction to a previous event, will this decision make a difference to you? Does it matter that the CEO has vowed to “implore lawmakers” to ban MSRs, high capacity magazines, bump stocks, and impose further restrictions on background checks, the legal age to own a firearm, and more. Share your answers in the comment section.
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