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03/02/2018

L.L. Bean is next to raise age on gun sales; REI puts supplier on alert

Two more retailers are taking a stand when it comes to gun sales.

In the wake of recent mass shootings, including the Parkland, Florida high school shooting last month, L.L. Bean used Twitter to announce that it will no longer sell guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21. While the Freeport, Maine-based retailer does sell this merchandise in its flagship store, inventory is specific to hunting and target shooting.

“L.L. Bean only sells firearms specifically for hunting, and only in our ME store after comprehensive background checks in compliance with State/Fed law. We do not sell assault-style firearms, high-capacity firearms, bump stocks or handguns of any kind. It does not sell handguns or assault weapons,” the company said on Twitter.

In a separate announcement, REI said that it is temporarily halting business with its supplier partner, Vista Outdoor. The company has recently acquired several companies that are long-time partners of REI, including Savage Arms, which manufactures guns — including “modern sporting rifles,” according to a statement made by the retailer.

While REI does not sell guns, the outdoor retailer has placed a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI “while we assess how Vista proceeds,” the company said.

“We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month,” the statement said. “Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that.”

The announcements comes on the heels of similar decisions made this week by other retailers. Dick’s Sporting Goods announced Wednesday that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles across the company’s 35 Field & Stream stores. 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.

On Thursday, Walmart and Kroger Co. followed suit, announcing they would also stop selling guns and ammunition to buyers who under 21 years old. Walmart requires customers purchasing firearms and ammunition to be 21 years of age. The company stopped selling modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15, in 2015. It also does not sell handguns (except in Alaska), bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories.

Kroger has also raised the minimum age to 21 to purchase firearms and ammunition in all of its Fred Meyer locations that sell firearms. Kroger’s Fred Meyer division operates 46 stores spread across five Western states.