Dick’s, Walmart lauded for announcing rules restricting gun sales

The retailers shared statements promising to self-regulate, and they called on legislators to stiffen weapons regulations. @Dicks tweets, ‘thoughts and prayers are not enough.’

Ending deals for affinity groups is one thing. Restricting product sales is quite another.

The Feb. 14 shooting spree that killed 17 at a Florida high school—and the nationwide outcry that followed—prompted many companies to sever ties with the National Rifle Association.

Two high-profile gun retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart, are taking further action.

Dick’s announced it would stop selling assault-style weapons, known as “modern sporting rifles,” would no longer sell guns to persons younger than 21.

It tweeted the announcement:

The company kept the focus on fundamental beliefs:

The company didn’t shy from politics, calling on lawmakers to expedite gun control legislation:

The message stayed on brand for the retailer, which sells sporting equipment for children.

In the press release, Dick’s conceded that it had sold the Parkland shooter a weapon—though not the weapon. It also looked at the big picture:

Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been.

Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.

Gun control advocates applauded the move on Twitter:

Others announced plans to boycott the retail chain:

Some dismissed the move as a PR stunt:

However, the company’s leadership stands by its decision.

NPR reported:

Asked about the potential for pushback among gun rights advocates, [Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack] acknowledged the move “isn’t going to make everyone happy. But when we look at what those kids and the parents and the heroes in the school, what they did, our view was: If the kids can be brave enough to organize like this, we can be brave enough to get these [firearms] out of here.”

“We’re staunch supporters of the Second Amendment,” he added. “I’m a gun owner myself. We’ve just decided that based on what’s happened and with these guns, we don’t want to be part of this story.”

After Dick’s announcement, Walmart followed suit with a pledge to stop selling guns and ammunition to anyone under 21.

NPR reported:

Walmart, which ended sales of modern sporting rifles such as AR-15s in 2015, has announced that it is raising the minimum age for purchasing firearms and ammunition from 18 to 21. The company notes that it does not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories.

Walmart is also removing items from its website “resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys” — like the air gun Tamir Rice was playing with when he was shot by a Cleveland police officer who thought the 12-year-old was armed.

The company tweeted the decision:

Some applauded the move:

Others noted that U.S. corporate leaders have been finding their voice to talk about guns:

What do you think of Walmart’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods’ moves, PR Daily readers?


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