Dick’s Sporting Goods self-imposes tighter gun restrictions
'Thoughts and prayers are not enough’

By Melanie Boyung - News Graphic Staff

March 1, 2018

In this Oct. 18, 2016, photo, Chairman and CEO of DICK'S Sporting Goods Edward W. Stack poses for a photo as he visits a new store at the Baybrook Mall Houston. Stack is issuing a letter Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018, about his decision to end the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines at stores.
Associated Press

GRAFTON — Edward Stack, chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, said this week that the retail chain will tighten its own restrictions on gun sales in light of the shooting in Parkland, Florida, and called for the nation’s leaders to do the same.

“We at Dick’s Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones,” Stack said in a statement.

“But thoughts and prayers are not enough.”

Associates at the local Dick’s store in Grafton, 1020 Port Washington Road, directed media questions to the corporate office, which issued the statement from Stack.

 The Grafton Dick’s Sporting Good store, located in the Grafton Commons,
is one of about 610 stores in the country.

Photo by Mark Justesen

According to Stack’s statement, assault style rifles were removed from sales at Dick’s Sporting Goods stores after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, but will now be removed from all stores, including its Field & Stream locations as well.

In addition, Stack committed Dick’s Sporting Goods, effective immediately, to:

No longer sell firearms to any person younger than 21 years old.

No longer sell high-capacity magazines.

Continue to ban the sale of bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

“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,” Stack said.

After the Parkland shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods reviewed its gun sale records and discovered that in November of last year, the company sold Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz a shotgun. Stack said the sale was legal and the gun was not the one used in the shooting, but it could have been, and Dick’s never wants to be part of such events.

In the same statement, Stack called on elected officials to enact what he called common-sense gun reform. He said they should ban assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks and raise the purchase age for firearms, as Dick’s has done on its own, and:

Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law;

Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms;

Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.

“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,” Stack said.

Walmart sets age of 21 to buy firearms, ammunition
Associated Press

NEW YORK  — Walmart announced Wednesday that it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21 and would also remove items resembling assault-style rifles from its website.

The move comes after Dick's Sporting Goods announced earlier in the day that it would restrict the sale of firearms to those under 21 years old. It didn't mention ammunition. Dick's also said it would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles, and its CEO took on the National Rifle Association by demanding tougher gun laws.

Walmart said its decision came after the company reviewed its firearm sales policy in light of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people. The teenage gunman used an AR-15 rifle. It said it takes "seriously our obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms" and also emphasized its background of serving "serving sportsmen and hunters."

Several major corporations, including MetLife, Hertz and Delta Air Lines, have cut ties with the NRA since the Florida tragedy, but none were retailers that sold guns. The NRA has pushed back aggressively against calls for raising age limits for guns or restricting the sale of assault-style weapons.

Walmart Inc. stopped selling AR-15 guns and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015. It doesn't sell bump stocks, the accessory attached to a semi-automatic gun that makes it easier to fire rounds faster. It also doesn't sell large-capacity magazines. It also says it doesn't sell handguns, except in Alaska.

In announcing the change in policy, the company said it had processes in place to make sure it was applied for online sales.