Dick's Sporting Goods takes stand on gun control

Dick’s Sporting Goods, which has a store in Milford, announced this week that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles, nor will it sell firearms to people under age 21.

A statement about the store’s new policy, published on the company’s website, comes in the wake of the shootings in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, in which a gunman killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“We at Dick’s Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland,” states company Chairman and CEO Edward W. Stack in a letter posted on the company’s website. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones. But thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

The letter expresses support for the students who have spoken out about gun control.

“We have heard you. The nation has heard you,” Stack’s letter states.

“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,” Stack continues. “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.”

He states that the store was following all of the rules and laws when it sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November 2017.

“It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been,” Stack writes.

Starting immediately, Dick’s will:

  • No longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles.

  • No longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.

  • No longer sell high-capacity magazines.

The store never has and “never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly,” the statement continues.

In his letter Stack also asks elected officials to enact common-sense gun reform.
Walmart responds too
Walmart also announced a change to its policy on firearm sales.

The company posted the following statement on its website:

“In light of recent events, we’ve taken an opportunity to review our policy on firearm sales. Going forward, we are raising the age restriction for purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We will update our processes as quickly as possible to implement this change.”

In 2015, Walmart ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15, the company states. Walmart also does not sell handguns, except in Alaska.

Walmart does not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories, according to the company’s website, and there is a process to monitor its eCommerce marketplace.

“We take seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms and go beyond federal law by requiring customers to pass a background check before purchasing any firearm,” reads the statement posted on the Walmart website. “The law would allow the sale of a firearm if no response to a background check request has been received within three business days, but our policy prohibits the sale until an approval is given.”