Dick's Sporting Goods to Stop Selling 'Assault-Style' Rifles

Retailer will also extend similar 2012 ban to end sale of 'assault-style' rifles in its 35 Field & Stream stores

Dick's Sporting Goods store / Getty
February 28, 2018

Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to end the sale of all "assault-style" rifles, stop selling high-capacity magazines, and raise the minimum age for all firearm purchases to 21 years of age.

Dick's, one of the country's largest retailers with over 600 brick and mortar stores nationwide, announced its decision to officially stop selling "assault-style" rifles, like the Colt AR-15, from all its retail locations. While many have applauded the decision, some have noted Dick's had already made the decision to stop selling "assault-style" rifles in 2012, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The decision announced this morning to no longer sell such rifles only impacts 35 stores in the retailer's outdoor and hunting chain, Field & Stream.

The announcement comes on the heels of the tragic school shooting in Parkland, Fla. earlier this month that left 17 people dead and countless wounded. Dick's chairman and CEO Edward W. Stack said in a statement that the ensuing conversation waged by shooting survivors convinced him to take action.

"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," Stack said. "We have heard you. The nation has heard you."

Stack stated that Dick's respected the Second Amendment and sympathized with law-abiding gun owners, who constitute a significant portion of his store's clientele, but that it was time to tackle the "epidemic" of gun violence.

"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," Stack added. "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."

Stack said the company made the decision after the Parkland shooting to conduct an independent audit of all firearm and rifles sales at its over 600 stores to ascertain if the accused shooter had purchased any weapons from the retailer. The audit found that the accused shooter had, in fact, purchased a shotgun from Dick's in November of 2017. However, that shotgun was not a weapon used during the assault on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

"Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017," Stack stated. "It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been."

Dick's also announced that it would prohibit the sale of firearms to anyone under the age of 21 and end the sale of high capacity magazines. The retailer also reaffirmed it's commitment to never include bump stocks in its inventory available for purchase.

Stack used the announcement to implore elected officials to pursue "common sense" gun-control policies such as ban "assault-style" rifles, raise the minimum age of firearm purchase to 21, ban the sale of high capacity magazines and bump stocks, strengthen background checks, create a universal database of individuals prohibited from owning guns, and close the "private sale and gun show loophole."

Published under: Gun Control , Guns