With a Major Gun Move, Dick's 'Steers Into the Storm'
Company will no longer sell assault-style rifles in wake of the Florida school shooting
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2018 7:17 AM CST
A Dick's Sporting Goods store is seen in this file photo.   (Manuel Mazzanti/AP Images for Dick's Sporting Goods)

(Newser) – Dick's Sporting Goods' CEO "is deliberately steering his company directly into the storm," is how the New York Times characterizes the company's Wednesday morning announcement: The sports retailer says it will no longer sell assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines in its stores or online, and will bar anyone under age 21 from buying any gun. CEO Edward Stack, whose father created the company seven decades ago, told the Times that the Parkland, Fla., survivors' "rallying cry, 'enough is enough' ... got to us." The company also learned that it had legally sold a gun to Nikolas Cruz, and though it wasn't used in the shooting, knowing that the store could have been "a part of this story ... we don't want to be a part of this any longer."

Stack says the company decided to be brave like the Parkland kids and "take a stand" and voice its opinion—which is that politicians should make the restrictions Dick's is adopting law—in hopes that it'll amplify the conversation on guns. The Times notes Walmart also stopped selling assault-style rifles, but its 2015 move was explained as due to anemic sales of the items. It's unclear what the magnitude of the financial impact will be for Dick's. Stack appeared on Good Morning America on Wednesday and was asked whether the company might at some point reverse the ban; it stopped selling assault-style rifles in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, but subsequently began selling them again in its Field & Stream stores. Stack's reply: "Never."

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