Pittsburgh-based Dick’s Sporting Goods has announced it’s removing firearms and ammunition from more than 400 of its stores in a continued effort to divest itself from the shooting sports market.
In 2019, the retailer dropped firearm sales at 125 stores, but the company announced Tuesday morning that its efforts will ramp up in 2020. A total of 440 stores across the country will remove guns and ammunition from their shelves, but the products will still be for sale in approximately 160 locations.
Company Chief Executive Ed Stack has been a staunch advocate of stricter gun control measures following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which left 17 dead. Immediately following the February 2018 shooting, Stack halted the sale of assault-style rifles at his stores nationwide, and raised the minimum age for gun purchases to 21.
Reaction from gun rights group at the time was swift and furious, calling Dick’s action a slap against law-abiding gun owners and threatening nationwide boycotts.
I don’t know of any formal boycott of Dick’s, but I also don’t know any gun owner who shops there. Bloomberg.com noted that Dick’s reported strong 4th quarter sales, but the company’s stock price has also declined by 30-percent this year, compared to a 15-percent decline in the overall S&P 500.
Dick’s CEO Ed Stack reportedly considered a presidential run last fall before backing away from a go at the Democratic presidential nomination, but even without running for office Stack is doing all he can to influence the gun control debate. As the National Shooting Sports Foundation noted when Stack was mulling over his campaign prospects, the CEO has been working closely with anti-gun billionaire Michael Bloomberg to target legal gun owners.
As CEO, Stack made the following anti-gun decisions:
- Ended the sale of all semiautomatic modern sporting rifles at Dick’s Sporting Goods following the tragic Sandy Hook murders.
- Extended that ban on AR-15s to include Field & Stream Stores following the Parkland murders.
- Barred the sale of standard-capacity magazines at all stores.
- Unilaterally imposed age-based gun bans on law-abiding Americans under the age of 21, regardless of state and federal age-discrimination laws.
- Removed firearms and hunting items altogether from 125 locations.
- Hired a Washington D.C. lobbyist to impose strict gun control and ban an entire class of firearms.
- Supports “No-Fly, No Buy” watchlists that deny gun rights without recourse and would serve as an “early warning terrorist notification system.”
It’s one thing for Stack to choose not to sell firearms in his stores, but it’s something entirely different when Stack works to make it impossible for anyone to buy or sell the most commonly produced rifle in the country. Dick’s can go gun-free if Stack wants, but the American people aren’t going to fall in line and join him.