In a direct response to the high school killings in Parkland, Florida, two weeks ago, the Chairman and CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods announced in a tweet this morning that all of his stores would no longer sell assault-style rifles. Dick’s Sporting Goods has stores in White Plains, Yonkers, West Nyack, Poughkeepsie, Danbury and Norwalk.
Edward W. Stack said that Dick’s stores had already removed them following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in December 2012, “but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores,” which are a subsidiary of the national sporting goods chain.
Stack also said, “We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age. We will no longer sell high-capacity magazines. We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.”
In an interview on CNN, Stack said, “The hunt business is an important part of the business, no doubt about it. And we know there will be some backlash.”
Stack said in no uncertain terms in his announcement that his decision was based on the killings of the 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Feb. 14 in Florida.
“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. But thoughts and prayers are not enough. 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 also acknowledged that one of his stores had sold a shotgun to the shooter of the Parkland attack. “It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been,” Stack said. “Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.”
Ed Stack’s father, Dick, founded the Pennsylvania-based chain in 1948 in Binghamton.
Stack asked that lawmakers enact “common sense gun reform.” He called for lawmakers to pass laws banning assault-style firearms, raising the minimum age to buy firearms to 21, banning high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, requiring universal background checks that include “relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law,” creating a universal database of those banned from buying firearms and closing the loophole that allows private sales and gun shows that circumvent the necessity for background checks.
“We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe.”
Dick’s sales revenue for 2017 was $7.9 billion. Before the start of market this morning, its stock was selling at $32 per share.