Dick'sSporting Goods gunsDick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest gun dealers in the U.S, released a statement this morning saying that it’s immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores, and that it would also no longer sell high-capacity magazines, nor would it sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws

The company’s CEO Ed Stack announced the move in an open letter today on Good Morning America. The full letter reads:

We at DICK’S Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones.

But thoughts and prayers are not enough.

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.

We have heard you. The nation has heard you.

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. 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.

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

Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.

We believe it’s time to do something about it.

Beginning today, DICK’S Sporting Goods is committed to the following:

  • We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.
  • We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.
  • We will no longer sell high capacity magazines.
  • We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations:

  • Ban assault-style firearms
  • Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
  • Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks
  • Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
  • Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
  • Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks

We hope others join us in this effort to let our kids know that their pleas are being taken seriously.

Some will say these steps can’t guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again. They may be correct – but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it.

We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe.

This is a major step from a major retailer. I can only assume that the guns and ammo that they will no longer sell represented a large revenue stream for them.

I will be writing an email to Dick’s CEO Ed Stack today thanking him for his courage and leadership on this issue. (This is the only direct online contact option that I found for the company so this is the one I will use). You can also Like their Facebook page and join the conversation there. At this point on Facebook it seems like there are more people criticizing Dick’s decision than supporting it.

I will also become a more regular Dick’s customer when I need sporting goods for my kids or myself.

This is obviously a small steo from a major retailer who will still sell guns, just not guns that are most likely to be used in mass shootings. But I seriously appreciate this small step, especially the part of the open letter where they address to whom they will no longer sell and about closing the gun show loophole.

Thank you, Ed Stack for your leadership on this issue. I hope that your colleagues who head up similar sporting goods stores will follow suit.

 

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