In a major move, Dick’s Sporting Goods — one of the country’s largest gun retailers — announced Wednesday it would no longer sell any assault-style rifles, effective immediately.
The Coraopolis, Pa.-based seller also said it was enacting a 21-year-old minimum age limit in order to purchase guns in general, including hunting firearms, despite any regulations under local law. Both decisions, CEO Edward Stack said, were directly influenced by the school shooting in Parkland, Fla. earlier this month that left 17 dead, as well as the ensuing gun reform activism carried out by a number of survivors.
“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” Stack told the New York Times Tuesday night. “We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘enough is enough.’ It got to us.
“We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation,” he added.
Dick’s (DKS) is not the first corporation to take a stance on gun control — several companies such as Delta Air Lines (DAL), Enterprise Rent-a-Car, and MetLife (MET) insurance have cut discount programs for National Rifle Association members following the Florida shooting — but its move is one of the more determined as a retailer that actually sells firearms to customers.
Stack said the discovery that Dick’s had sold a gun in November to suspected Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz spurred the company into action, even though it wasn’t the same weapon or type of gun used in this month’s shooting.
“But it came to us that we could have been a part of this story,’’ Stack said to the Times. “We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer,’” said Mr. Stack.