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Dick’s Sporting Goods Bans Assault Rifles, Calls for Gun Control

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The nation’s largest sporting goods retailer said, ‘Thoughts and prayers are not enough.’

Photo credit: Mike Mozart

Following the school shooting that killed 17 people in Parkland, Fla., two weeks ago, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced sweeping changes for gun sales in all of its stores.

In an open letter signed by Dick’s CEO and Chairman Edward W. Stack, the brand affirmed it will no longer sell assault-style rifles, aka modern sporting rifles, in any of its stores. This move builds on Dick’s 2012 decision in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre to halt assault rifle sales in most of its stores, but not its 35 Field and Stream stores.

In addition, Stack said Dick’s will stop selling guns to anyone under 21 and cease sales of high-capacity magazines.

Dick’s Sporting Goods Haults Assault Rifle Sales

Stack’s candid letter to the public revealed that Dick’s had sold a shotgun to Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old charged in the Parkland shooting. But according to reports, the shooter did not use it in the school shooting.

AR-15 assault rifle. Photo credit: Mitch Barrie

According to Stack’s statement, current gun laws are in part to blame for the tragedies like Parkland, Sandy Hook, Aurora, Colo., Marshall County, Ky., and others.

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

Still, the 610-store sporting goods chain nodded to its gun-owning base.

“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.”

Dick’s Urges Lawmakers for Gun Control

Stack’s letter concludes with a call to elected officials to enact stricter gun laws as well. He details six “common sense gun reform” laws to improve public safety.

  1. Ban assault-style firearms
  2. Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21
  3. Ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks
  4. Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law
  5. Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms
  6. Close the private sale and gun show loopholes that waive the necessity of background checks

Stack acknowledged that not all will agree with the brand’s stance. But, he writes, “if even one life is saved, it will have been worth it.”

Read the full release below:

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