WASHINGTON, United States — Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., the biggest sporting-goods retailer in the U.S., is immediately ending sales of assault-style rifles following the mass shooting at a Florida high school earlier this month that killed 17 people.
Dick’s is expanding its assault-rifle ban to its 35 Field & Stream stores, after removing the weapons from its flagship stores following the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. The company is also ending sales of firearms to anyone under the age of 21 and will no longer sell high-capacity magazines.
Dick’s CEO urged Congress to act, and called for bans on assault-style firearms.
“We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognise and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens,” Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack said in a statement on the company’s website. “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.”
Dick’s will “never” reverse the decision and is ready for any backlash it may face, Stack said in an interview on Good Morning America. He also urged Congress to act, and his letter called for bans on assault-style firearms, high capacity magazines, bump stocks, a higher minimum age requirement and universal background checks. The financial implications of the decision remain to be seen.
Dick’s shares rose 1.6 percent to $32.30 at 8:20 a.m. in New York. The move will put gun stocks including Sturm Ruger & Co., American Outdoor Brands Corp. and Vista Outdoor Inc. in focus today.
Nikolas Cruz, the perpetrator in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, purchased a shotgun at a Dick’s store in November 2017. That wasn’t the gun used in the deadly Feb. 14 shooting, “but it could have been,” CEO Stack said in his letter.
By Beth Mellor; editors: Arie Shapira, Courtney Dentch and Brad Olesen.