CORAOPOLIS, Pa. — DICK'S Sporting Goods and its subsidiaries will no longer sell "assault-style rifles," and will not sell guns to anyone under 21 years-old, according to a statement from Chairman & CEO Edward Stack.
Stack said that assault-style rifles, which he also referred to as modern sporting rifles, were removed from DICK'S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but will now be removed from their 35 Field & Stream stores, one of which is in Medford. They will also stop selling high capacity magazines, and have never carried bump stocks—and never will, said Stacks.
Perhaps more controversial than the steps he is taking with his own company, Stack's statement included his recommendations for the country as a whole, in the way of gun law reform. Stack believes that legislators should ban assault-style weapons en mass, raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21, ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks, require universal background checks including mental health information and previous interactions with the law, ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms, and close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.
The suspect at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High had purchased a shotgun from DICK'S prior to committing the massacre. The gun was not actually used in the shooting, but Stack's statement implied a feeling of responsibility for that purchase. "It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been."
Stack expressed his admiration for the student survivors-turned activists from Parkland, who have demanded action to protect students.
"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," Stack said.
Response to the statement on the DICK'S Facebook page is characteristically divided—with many people praising the move, and many others expressing their anger or threatening boycotts of the store.