Dick’s Sporting Goods will stop selling “assault-style” rifles, raise minimum age for gun sales


Dick’s Sporting Goods will open at Bridge Street in February 2016. (Photo: Shane Hays/WHNT News 19)

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(CNN Money) — Dick’s Sporting Goods, the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, will stop selling what the CEO described as “assault-style” weapons like the one used in the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting.

“I really wasn’t surprised, I knew somebody would do it, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see someone else follow them,” said customer Seth Mcalister.

The company said it will also raise the minimum age for all gun sales to 21. Dick’s will not sell high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to fire far more rounds than traditional weapons without reloading, as well as other accessories used with weapons similar to the AR-15.

“It makes for an interesting case because it sort of reinforces the idea that we try to really reinforce in marketing strategy, that these decisions are all really very complex. Not only are there business forces but there are also political forces,” said Dr. Rob Morgan, a marketing professor at the University of Alabama.

The accused Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought a gun at Dick’s. The company said he did not buy the AR-15 that he used in the school shooting there.

The company stopped selling those military-style semiautomatic weapons in its Dick’s-branded stores after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting in 2012, but it continued to sell those weapons at its 35 Field and Stream stores.

Now it will pull those weapons from all of its stores.

“I thought it was strange at first. I mean, people are going to get their firearms elsewhere,” said customer Caroline Loiselle.

Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer and a major seller of firearms, announced it would stop selling the military-style semiautomatic weapons in August 2015.

There have been widespread calls for tougher gun control measures in the weeks since the school shooting.





Loiselle owns a firearm and says the new change at Dick’s won’t stop her from being a customer.

But beyond the marketing, some see an important underlying issue in the conversation over gun regulation that no one company can solve. “Nothing is going to happen unless people come together and compromise,” said Mcalister.

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