Dick’s Sporting Goods stopped selling AR-15 (or what they like to refer to as “assault weapons”) and “high capacity magazines” following the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida. The chain’s CEO, Ed Stack, decided to go a step further and completely stop selling rifles to anyone under the age of 21. He made the decision after he found out that one of his stores had sold the Parkland gunman a shotgun, even though it wasn’t used in the tragedy.
During a Sunday interview with CBS News, Stack revealed an interesting tidbit: he decided to scrap more than $5 million worth of AR-15s into scrap metal instead of selling the stock.
“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,'” he explained.
Gun rights advocates boycotted the store over after the company’s decision to stop selling the modern sporting rifle, which Stack said cost his chain a quarter of a billion. He thought he would receive some flak but he didn’t expect the feedback he did.
“We probably get a little bit of a backlash, but we didn’t expect to get what we got,” he said. “All this about, you know, how we were anti-Second Amendment, you know, ‘we don’t believe in the Constitution,’ and none of that could be further from the truth. We just didn’t want to sell the assault-style weapons that could inflict that kind of damage.”
As of now, 125 of Dick’s 729 stores no longer sells any type of firearms. Stack is considering making that a company-wide policy though.
“So many people say to me, you know, ‘If we do what you want to do, it’s not going to stop these mass shootings,'” said Stack. “And my response is, ‘You’re probably right, it won’t. But if we do these things and it saves one life, don’t you think it’s worth it?'”
Other companies have jumped on board. Walmart stopped selling AR-15s in 2015 and in August they decided to stop selling some types of ammunition. CVS, Kroger and Walgreens asked patrons not to open carry in their stories.