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Dick’s Sporting Goods ends sale of assault-style guns; curbs other gun sales

The nation’s largest sporting goods retailer will no longer sell assault-style rifles, effective immediately. It is also enacting other restrictions with regards to the sale of guns in general.

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting, the weapons — which are also called modern sporting rifles — will no longer be available across Dick’s Sporting Goods or the company’s 35 Field & Stream stores, Dick’s chairman and CEO Edward Stack said in an open letter on the company’s website.

(The sporting goods retailer removed the rifles from Dick’s shelves following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, and has now removed them for its Field & Stream stores as well).

In addition, Dick’s will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age, and will not carry high capacity magazines. It also confirmed that Dick’s never [has] and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly,” Stack said.

In an appearance on ABC’s "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Stack said that Dick's is prepared for any potential backlash, but will never allow the sale of such guns in its stores again.

“We know that this isn't going to make everyone happy," he said.

In his statement, Stack said that the company is “deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland.”

“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,” said the executive, who himself is a gun owner. “We expect back lash, but we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us.”

Stack also recalled that the company sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. The sale that followed all rules and laws.

While it was not the gun, nor type of gun, used in the shooting, “it could have been,” Stack said. “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.”

He also hopes his actions will influence local elected officials to enact gun reform, one that will ban assault-style firearms, and raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21.

Stack is also calling upon elected officials to follow his lead and impose a ban on high capacity magazines and bump stocks; require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law, and ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms. Finally, Stack encouraged officials to close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.

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