Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of America’s largest sporting goods retailers, is immediately ending its sales of assault-style weapons and high capacity magazines. They will also require customers buying firearms to be at least 21 years old.
The announcement was made Wednesday by Dick’s CEO Edward Stack on Good Morning America. Stack cited the discovery that the Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought a shotgun at Dick’s prior to the attack. Though it wasn’t used in the shooting, it was enough to convince Stack that something had to change.
“We did everything by the book. We did everything that the law required, and still he was able to buy a gun,” said Stack. “And when we looked at that, we said the systems that are in place across the board just aren’t effective enough to keep us from selling someone a gun like that. So we’ve decided that we’re not going to sell the assault-type rifles anymore.”
An assault-style weapon is usually defined by the following characteristics:
- Detachable magazine
- Aesthetic features that make the gun closely resemble military-style rifles, such as a pistol grip, folding or telescoping stock, bayonet lug (which allows the attachment of a bayonet), or a threaded barrel (which allows attachments on the front of the barrel, like a silencer or a flash suppressor)
After Sandy Hook, Dick’s pledged to temporarily end the sales of semi-automatic weapons from their retailers. Those never returned to the sporting goods stores, but in 2013 Dick’s opened their Field and Stream stores which specialized in hunting and outdoor gear, and apparently in selling assault-style weapons as well. But Stack says those days are over.
“Based on what’s happened, and looking at those kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably. And to think about the loss and the grief that those kids and those parents had we said, ‘we need to do something,’” said Stack. “We’re taking these guns out of our stores permanently.”
When pressed by Good Morning America’s George Stephanapoulous if Dick’s is ready for the backlash, Stack said, “If the kids can be brave enough to organize like this, we can be brave enough to take [the assault-style guns] out of here.”
Dick’s is also calling on Congress to pass gun control legislation.
I really want to be cynical about all of this, but maybe the Dick is good today.