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Dick’s Sporting Goods will stop selling guns at 125 stores

Dick's Sporting Goods, Manchester, CT., July 2014. (Mike Mozart/TheToyChannel/Flickr)
March 12, 2019

Dick’s Sporting Goods on Tuesday said it will stop selling firearms at more than 100 of its retail locations across the United States in an effort to combat declining sales.

CEO Ed Stack said that guns and some hunting gear will be removed from 125 of Dick’s 729 namesake locations, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Guns are being removed from stores where hunting gear and related items don’t perform as well as in other markets, Stack said, noting that recent sales rose in 10 stores where the gun-free concept was tested.

The specific locations were not announced, nor was it clear when the gun removal would take place in those locations.

Dick’s Sporting Goods is known for being a nationwide retailer of sporting goods and firearms. The company initially announced it was considering axing all hunting gear from its stores this past December.

In February 2018, Dick’s announced it was no longer going to sell “assault-style” rifles or firearms to anyone under 21, nor was it going to sell high-capacity magazines.

The ban on rifles caused widespread outrage, as well as the restriction on how old someone must be in order to purchase a gun from Dick’s Sporting Goods.

A year ago, a 20-year-old Oregon man filed a lawsuit against Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart alleging that he was discriminated against when he was refused purchasing a rifle. According to Oregon state law, as in other states, legal rifle or shotgun purchases start at the age of 18.

Dick’s announced its new gun policy after the Parkland school shooting on Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, and it took a public stance on gun control in the U.S.

“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 right in front of us,” the company had said in a statement.

Stack had said he was prompted to make the decision upon learning that months before the shooting, the Parkland shooter purchased a shotgun from a Dick’s store. Although he did not use the shotgun, Stack said the potential for its use in the massacre urged him to take action.

Dick’s originally stopped selling semi-automatic sporting rifles after the Newton, Conn. shooting in 2012. The sporting rifles remained available in 35 Field & Stream stores, a division of Dick’s retail stores that offer hunting and outdoor products.