In February, Dick’s Sporting Goods made an announcement in the aftermath of the Florida school shooting that rocked the nation.
“We at Dick’s Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland,” Edward W. Stack, chairman and CEO of the sporting goods store, wrote. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones. But thoughts and prayers are not enough.”
He then went on to describe a new store policy that prohibits sales to anyone under the age of twenty-one. (See the rest of the full statement below.) They also hired pro-gun control lobbyists and destroyed their stock of what they creatively called “assault weapons.”
“As expected, our firearms policy changes impacted our hunt business which saw an accelerated decline in an already challenged category,” Lee Belitsky, Chief Financial Officer, said in their first quarter earnings conference call.
Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack said the decline in sales was expected and they will continue to go through the challenge for the rest of the year.
“And the hunt business we expect, based on our firearm policy, it’s going to continue to be challenged through the balance of the year,” he said.
Stack added how Dick’s may eventually stop doing firearm sales altogether, it depends on “how the business plays out, how the manufacturers decide that they want to do business together.”
One gun manufacturer announced:
O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc., a leading American firearms manufacturer, announced today its decision to discontinue selling products to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring of gun control lobbyists in April 2018. Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream, and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements. “It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control.” said Iver Mossberg, Chief Executive Officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”
Read the rest of Dick’s Sporting Goods announcement below:
“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.”
Image Credit: By Fish Cop (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons