Dick's Sporting Goods will stop selling assault-style rifles and put other restrictions on gun sales, the retailer said Wednesday morning on Good Morning America. In explaining its decision, the company also released a letter from Chairman and CEO Edward Stack referring to the Feb. 14 mass shooting a high school in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.
"But thoughts and prayers are not enough," the letter reads. "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." It noted that Dick's lawfully sold a gun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017.
In a November 911 call from a family friend who'd grown frightened of the shooter, the caller says she believes he'd gone to Dick's to pick up a gun he'd ordered.
While Dick's supports the Second Amendment, gun violence is an epidemic, Stack wrote. The retailer had removed assault-style rifles from all its namesake stores following the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, but kept selling them in its Field & Stream stores. Now it will stop selling such guns at all of its stores. Dick's will also no longer sell guns to people under 21 years old and will stop selling high-capacity magazines entirely.
Dick's asked for others to join the effort.
The Coraopolis, Penn.-based retailer, which has more than 700 stores nationwide, is the latest brand to take a stand on gun control. Last week, several marketers including Hertz, Delta Air Lines and MetLife said they would stop offering discounts to National Rifle Association members. (Georgia politicians are threatening to punish Delta in retaliation.) Others such as FedEx are holding firm on their NRA relationships, despite continued social media backlash and calls for boycotts. And some consumers are using social media to ask streaming platforms such as Amazon, Roku and Apple to end their NRA TV digital channels.
On Twitter, many praised Dick's decision.
Bravo to @DICKS Sporting Goods...pulling assault-style rifles and raising minimum age to buy guns to 21.— Justin Abraham (@jjabraham) February 28, 2018
KABOOM!!— Brian Krassenstein🐬 (@krassenstein) February 28, 2018
Dick's Sporting Goods has just announced that they will stop selling assault-style rifles and require all gun buyers to be 21 years of age or older!
This deserves 1 MILLION RETWEETS!!@DICKS
Yay! Thank you to @DICKS for banning the sale of #AssaultWeapons in their stores!! Doing the right thing for Americans! 🇺🇸 I'm shopping at Dicks Sporting Goods!!— Cheryl Risko Boysen (@boysen_cheryl) February 28, 2018