Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS) said it will no longer sell assault-style rifles and will raise its minimum purchase age for firearms to 21.
The retailer’s policy changes come in the aftermath of the Parkland massacre. CEO Edward W. Stack noted that the store legally sold a shotgun to suspect Nikolas Cruz in 2017, although it wasn’t the weapon he used in the shooting.
“But it could have been,” Stack wrote.
“Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens,” Stack wrote in a letter published on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ website. “We believe it’s time to do something about it.”
The company said the decision to remove assault-style weapons will impact 35 Field & Stream stores. It had previously stopped selling the weapons from its Dick’s locations after the 2012 Sandy Hook massacre.
Dick’s decision comes amid a growing corporate backlash against the National Rifle Association (NRA), with companies scrutinizing their investments, co-branding deals and other ties to the gun industry following the Parkland shooting, in which 17 students and teachers were killed. A handful of companies have ended their discount programs with the NRA as the group aggressively resists calls for stricter gun control.
Dick’s Sporting Goods also said it will stop selling high-capacity magazines. It added that it has never “and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.”
Stack ended the letter by stating his support for “common sense gun reform.” He said he’s urging lawmakers to ban assault-style firearms, raise the minimum purchase age for firearms to 21, ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, and require universal background checks that include “relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law.”
He’s also advocating for a universal database of people banned from buying firearms and closing private-sale and gun-show loopholes that sidestep the requirement for background checks.
Stack wrote: “Some will say these steps can’t guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again. They may be correct — but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it.”