In the wake of the Parkland shooting and the ongoing national conversation America is having around gun control – one that feels like it might, finally, achieve something – the country’s largest sporting goods retailer has announced it will stop selling assault-style rifles.
Dick’s Sporting Goods announced today that it will no longer sell high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to fire far more rounds than traditional weapons without reloading, as well as accessories for similar weapons to the AR-15.
It will also raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21.
“We are Dick’s Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland,” it said in a statement. “Out thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones.
“But thoughts and prayers are not enough.
“We have tremendous respect and admiration for the students organising and making their voices heard regarding gun violence in schools and elsewhere in our country.
“We have heard you. The nation has heard you.
“We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognise and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. 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.”
While it had already stopped the sales of assault-style rifles from its Dick’s stores in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre, it has now removed them from sale at its Field & Stream stores – a specialised hunting and fishing subsidiary store – as well.
It’s also imploring the government to “enact common sense gun reform” and ban assault-style firearms, raise the minimum age of purchase to 21, ban high capacity and bump stocks, and bring in stricter background checks that would close the loopholes provided in state legislation and private sales.
“We hope others join us in this effort to let our kids know that their pleas are being taken seriously,” it said. “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.”
I’m a gay man and I can honestly say I’ve never loved @dicks more. pic.twitter.com/BdyuextBOo
— Gus Kenworthy (@guskenworthy) February 28, 2018
Thank you, Dick’s Sporting Goods. This is the first good news about dicks since the #MeToo movement started.
— Chelsea Handler (@chelseahandler) February 28, 2018