NEW YORK (AP) — Dick’s Sporting Goods, a major U.S. retailer, will immediately halt sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines at all of its stores and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.
The announcement Wednesday comes as students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, return to class for the first time since a troubled teenager killed 17 students and educators with an AR-15 two weeks ago.
“When we saw what the kids were going through and the grief of the parents and the kids who were killed in Parkland, we felt we needed to do something,” Chairman and CEO Ed Stack said on “Good Morning America.”
Dick’s, one of the most well-known gun retailers in the U.S., had cut off sales of assault-style weapons at Dick’s stores following the Sandy Hook school shooting. But sales had resumed at its chain of stores under the name, Field & Stream.
The decision to overhaul its own rules on gun sales puts the company out front in a falling out between corporate America and groups like the National Rifle Association.
A number of major U.S. corporations including MetLife, Hertz, Delta Airlines and First National Bank of Omaha, one of the nation’s largest privately held banks, cut ties with the NRA in the days following the Parkland shooting.
Stack on Wednesday called for significant changes to U.S. gun policy, and called on lawmakers to act now.
“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,” Stack wrote in a letter Wednesday. “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.” full story
ALSO SEE: Is An AR-15 An “Assault Rifle”?