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Dick’s Sporting Goods halts assault-style weapon sales

by Evan Wilt
Posted 2/28/18, 11:12 am

Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest sporting goods retailer in the United States, announced Wednesday it would no longer sell assault-style weapons in response to the recent deadly school shooting in South Florida. The company also announced it would raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21 and would not sell high-capacity ammunition magazines. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who killed 17 people two weeks ago at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., purchased a gun at Dick’s in November, although the company said it did not sell him the AR-15 rifle used in the attack. “When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” Dick’s CEO Edward Stack told The New York Times. “We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation.” Stack said discovering Dick’s sold the Parkland shooter a weapon spurred the company into action. U.S. lawmakers are considering legislation that would ban some weapons and raise the minimum age to purchase a rifle from 18 to 21. Meanwhile, state governors convened at the White House this week to talk about gun laws and other ways to better protect U.S. schools.

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Evan Wilt

Evan is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Washington, D.C.

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  • tpsands
    Posted: Wed, 02/28/2018 12:45 pm

    It is incumbant upon news curators to now look into Dick's sales and see if this is posturing and if there was really a market for such weapons at Dick's. One can incur goodwill by joining the majority reaction at just the right time - masking poor sales or other problems that already existed by publicizing a decision with alternate reasoning.

  • Bob C
    Posted: Wed, 02/28/2018 04:21 pm

    Protecting schools is not so much the issue as having parents who raise kids to responsible adulthood.

    As I understand it, Mr. Cruz lost his adoptive father at age 4 and his single mom obviously did not get the help she need to raise him before she died.  Civilians do not need military like weapons, but had he killed just one person with a hand gun, it would have not been as big a news story, but some family would have been just as devastated by the loss of their love one.

    Perhaps Dicks Sporting Goods could donate some of their profits from guns sales to help single parents. Then there would be a few less trouble young people out there.

  • Wayne Asbury
    Posted: Wed, 02/28/2018 06:21 pm

    I work part time for  a store that sells guns .  The assault rifle is one of the best selling guns on the market. So are high capacity magazines for both rifles and handguns. Whenever there is talk of tougher gun laws these things sell like crazy because people are scared they won't be able to buy them anymore. I have never shopped at Dicks because they are the competition and would obviously be more expensive for me, but I can respect their efforts and their motives seem to be honorable.

  • CaptTee's picture
    Posted: Wed, 02/28/2018 02:09 pm

    Except when I was given a gift certificate or 50% off coupon I have never went shoppong at Dick's because their prices were always higher than the competition.

  • not silent
    Posted: Wed, 02/28/2018 06:32 pm

    It's not for me to say what decisions a private company should make, though I would think most on here would applaud business owners who act as they feel their conscience leads them to act.  Since I come from a family with hunters and gun owners, I understand very well why someone would want to purchase firearms and use them for recreation.  I also have friends who own guns for protection and have concealed carry permits.  While I have no desire to take away the rights of responsible citizens to own guns, I don't understand why the average citizen needs access to a weapon like the AR-15.  What do you shoot with it?  Seriously.  This isn't posturing.  I was around guns and avid hunters my entire childhood and adolescence, and I really want to know. 

    Of course people can be killed with other weapons and even walking out the front door, but it seems like the killer can usually be subdued before killing so many people if they are using a knife or a single-shot pistol.  It looks like it is awfully hard to approach someone with a weapon like this one and apparently it takes incredible courage as well.  So is it worth the risk that someone who shouldn't have a gun at all gets one of THESE guns?

  • OldMike
    Posted: Wed, 02/28/2018 11:00 pm

    Not silent, the points you are making are valid. Let me try to address your question, “Why does the average citizen need access to a weapon like the AR15?”

    The answer is, there is no need, any more than anyone needs a 400 HP SUV, or a 4000 square foot home, or a 28’ bass boat, or granite kitchen counter tops, or a $2500 wristwatch. All of these items serve functions that could easily be served by less costly, less ostentatious, less prestigious options. But our society has determined people have the right to enjoy whatever they want to spend their money on, regardless of what other people's opinions are.

    If I want to hunt, or target shoot, or enter shooting competitions, I DON’T need an AR-15 or other military-style firearm. I can use firearms that do not have the ability to be loaded with 30 or more bullets.

    To me (and many other gun owners), the important question is, do you seriously contend that banning my guns will have any affect on mass shootings?  The odds of any of my guns being used in a crime are tiny. I’m not a criminal or insane, neither are my family and associates, those who might misuse firearms will never gain access to mine. So focusing on the GUN as the problem, and depriving LAW-ABIDING people of guns, is attacking the problem from the wrong direction. That is like the teacher who decides to inflict a punishment on an entire class because one student misbehaves. 

    There are laws in place to prevent dangerous people from acquiring ANY firearms, not just AR-15’s. Unfortunately, we all are now aware that those responsible for implementing those laws must be diligent, or tragedy can result. Of course, there have always been laws against murder and assault, but it seems that murderers and other criminals tend to disregard laws. 

    So here’s my position, which is basically the same as a lot of other gun owners, and of the major gun owners’ organizations:  1) strengthen the process by which persons who have criminal records, mental illness, restraining orders, domestic violence records, etc., are stopped from buying guns. The laws and the system have been in place for a number of years, but authorities must use them. 

    2) Prosecutors must actually treat as crimes, attempts to buy firearms by people who should not have them. I’ve heard of too many gun dealers who made reports of persons attempting to circumvent gun laws, but prosecutors placed it at the bottom of their priorities. The Justice Department under Eric Holder was notorious for this. 

    3) There are some jurisdictions where using a gun while committing a crime automatically increases the sentence. Unfortunately, there are judges who have ignored those laws.  Even more unfortunate, I’ve recently heard of states eliminating the higher sentencing requirements for a firearm-involved crime. That’s crazy!

    4) Strengthen security at schools!  This is such a no-brainer to gun owners, yet we have many in society who seem to feel the presence of armed law enforcement, metal detectors, and ID requirements for entry somehow sullies the educational environment. Those people expecting utopia simply because they wish it, are always going to be disappointed. 

    5) It’s been said that we have created a culture in which death and violence are romanticized. There truly are some appalling video games, movies, and television shows our young people are consuming. Those who produce these things deny their product negatively influences anyone. Yet isn’t it odd they boast to their advertising clients about the enormous influence their work has on us impressionable humans?  Perhaps there needs to be more oversight of the “entertainment” available for our young people. 

    I’m stopping now. This is already far too lengthy for a comment in a news article. But I must say in closing, if someone can convince me that destroying my firearms will save one life, I would give them up. 

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Thu, 03/01/2018 02:47 am

    Uh, l used my AR-15 to go hog hunting!  It is a good weapon for shooting deer too!  A government who has armed citizens will treat the citizens with more respect and tyranny is harder to impose.  As we see the Democrats seek to use raw power by attempting to steal elections, we should not be surprised that they too will seek to disarm the masses through gun control because they desire absolute control and political domination!  Our founding Fathers were wise to put in the 2nd Amendment to protect our rights to gun ownership. We are wise to not let our gun rights slip away as “do gooders” bring on gun control incrementally. I oppose all gun control on sane, healthy and law abiding citizens.  

  • not silent
    Posted: Thu, 03/01/2018 05:59 pm

    Old Mike, thank you for your very thoughtful response; and I agree with all of your suggestions to help improve safety.  I also understand your concerns about everyone being punished because of the few who are lawless.  I would actually view restrictions on gun ownership as protection for everyone, not as punishment, though I can see why you view it differently.  Suppose a school normally has prom at a fancy hotel, but one year a few students secretly buy rooms at the hotel and slip off to those rooms during prom to drink and/or use drugs-and suppose a student is killed in an accident on the way home while driving intoxicated.  In my state there would probably be a huge lawsuit and the school would have to stop the students from having prom at the nice hotel.  The students would probably feel like they were being punished, but parents and others might feel that they were being protected.  

    I also understand your assertion that those who might misuse firearms will never touch your guns-and I believe you-but can you say that for others who may own AR-15's?  We had free access to the guns in my house when I was growing up-and so did everyone else who walked in the door.  How do we know other households with AR-15's will keep their guns secure?  In fact, the people who took in this recent shooter thought they were keeping his guns secure-they thought they had the only key, but they were wrong.

    Even if we do make existing laws better and enforce the laws we already have, I fear that this will not prevent weapons like the AR-15 from falling into the hands of people who may use them to kill.  Not everyone who commits violent acts is mentally ill, and I've known numerous people who made casual comments about violence that they would never carry out.  For people who are mentally ill, even the best mental health professional can't predict who might commit an act of violence.  Studies show that people with mental illness are much more likely to harm themselves than other people.  Most of us are surrounded by people who have been diagnosed with SOME form of mental illness-they may include your doctor, your lawyer, your accountant, your CEO, your sibling, or your child!  This is not to scare anyone but to make the point that mental illness is very common and is certainly not indicative of someone being "crazy" or prone to violence.  DEPRESSION is a mental illness. 

    It's easy to look at things in retrospect and see what should have been done, particularly in a case like this; but if we think about what should happen going forward, who decides when somone shouldn't have a gun?  What sorts of things would disqualify them? Mental illness?  Which mental illness?  Violent posts on social media?  What kind of violence qualifies?  We DO need to look at these things, but it's very, very complicated, as Old Mike said. I'm afraid I disagree that we as a society have decided we have the right to enjoy whatever we can spend our money on.  We don't have the right to spend money on illegal drugs or fraudulent investment schemes or child porn.  This is my opinion; but, although I greatly value our freedoms as Americans, I think that in some cases we need reasonable limits on those freedoms to protect us. After all we are all sinful and in need of God's grace.

  • Allen Johnson
    Posted: Thu, 03/01/2018 12:00 am

    To Old Mike:
    I keep hearing the gun industry saying to increase school security. Will the gun industry and gun owners pay for the increased costs of policing schools, or will they dun it as a negative externality upon the general public taxpayer? The latter, no doubt.

    I will continue to say that all gun owners should be licensed, all guns titled and licensed, just as we do with our motor vehicles. And AR-15 owners would undergo the most stringent of application and regulation.  And those who blather about the 2nd Amendment, then I will gladly support an excemption for flintlock muzzle loading muskets as made during the 18th century.

  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Thu, 03/01/2018 03:07 am

    I am for background checks on gun purchasing but I appose licensing guns of any kind because one day a tyrannical government will come confiscating guns so they can control the masses just like Hitler did in Germany!  Making gun laws will not make people holy - the gospel will!

  • Elaine
    Posted: Thu, 03/01/2018 07:28 am

    "Assualt-style" weapons is a word in search of a definition.  A knife can be an assault-style weapon, as is a rock, a rolling pin, a pair of sissors, etc. World should stop using words that the MSM invented to deceive people about the true nature of their propaganda - complete control of the populace via a total gun ban.  Meanwhile, banning certain weapons from law-abiding citizen's use because the Broward County Sheriff's department is so dysfunctiional and so corrupt that it enabled a mentally ill man, who proclaimed his evil intentions to the entire world, to buy a gun and use it to murder other people is the exact wrong solution.  In a world where evil is allowed to flourish, the innocent must be allowed to defend themselves against that evil.  "Gun control" is absolute in Chicago, Baltimore, and other large cities and these cities have the highest murder rates committed with guns every year.  The majority of Law abiding citizens should not have to pay for the criminal behavior of a few criminals.

  • TXfamily
    Posted: Fri, 03/02/2018 07:05 pm

    I don't know what "assault-style" weapon means either.  But by definition, an actual assault rifle is a magazine-fed, select-fire light infantry rifle.  Look it up, this is the actual definition.  And since civilians in the United States are not allowed to buy automatic weapons, we do not have true assault rifles on the market.  End of story.  Assault rifles are already illegal.

    But don't expect anyone to actually use the term correctly.  I see articles whining about "assault weapons" all the time.  And as to "assault-style" weapons, I guess that just mean any gun that looks scary.  So a wooden stocked hunting rifle is nice, but a black rifle with mounting rails is an "assault weapon".  (of course, most hunting guns are far more powerful than AR15s, but nobody ever mentions that either).

    Seth, age 18

  • Leeper
    Posted: Thu, 03/01/2018 09:31 am

    My next gun purchase will likely be one of the AR-15 platform. I first shot one 23 years ago and found it to be the nicest gun I have ever shot. I will use for hunting. I could use a different gun but this is the one I choose. Just like someone else chooses to buy a different car than the Honda CR-V I drive. incidentally I rarely take more than one shot while hunting. I like old Mike's comments. I am old myself. I remember being in the gun club in highschool and a fellow student taking his 12 guage pump shotgun to his speech class for a demonstration speech. Lawabiding guns owners are not the problem. Criminals who will never obey laws are the problem. I am thankful for our constitutional protections. However I am troubled they are continually under assault. Freedom of speech, religious liberty as well as 2nd amendment are favorite targets. Gun licensing is the first step to gun confication. It happens in Germany prior to WW2.



  • Bix
    Posted: Sun, 03/04/2018 08:14 am

    Gun control really works!! Ask Stalin, Hitler, and Mao.  Tens of millions killed. It is not sociopaths, but governments that are the biggest killers.

    Sigh! Paraphrasing John Adams, our constitution is fit only for a moral and religious people. We will find no legal solutions to our problems, only spiritual ones.