NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KTHV) — Dick’s Sporting Goods announced Wednesday, Feb. 28 that it is dropping assault-style weapons from its sales floors.
The retailer’s policy change comes in the aftermath of the Parkland school massacre. The CEO of Dick’s, Edward Stack, released a statement saying he wants elected officials to enact proper gun sense laws.
"As every business owner, they have a right to do what they feel is good for their business,” gun shop owner Bryan Hearn said.
Hearn has sold guns at American Tiger Firearms since 1989. He said he believes the decision to forgo AR-15 sales is a political one.
"As for me, I still sell AR's. But that's their choice. I'm sure they're doing it so they don't want to be impolitically correct with a certain part of our society,” Hearn said.
The statement CEO Edward Stack released said:
We at DICK’S Sporting Goods are deeply disturbed and saddened by the tragic events in Parkland. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones.
But thoughts and prayers are not enough…
…Beginning [Wednesday], DICK’S Sporting Goods is committed to the following:
• We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.
• We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.
• We will no longer sell high capacity magazines.
• We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.”
You can read the full statement here.
"I approve of that and I was in there last week and noticed they don't carry handguns,” Customer Tom Simmons said.
Simmons said he is happy the company is doing something about gun violence.
"I just don't think there's enough control. I like guns, I don't own any at the present time but I used to. I used to like to shoot. But they're not keeping the guns out of the wrong people's hands,” he said.
But Hearn says at the end of the day it is up to a business as to what they want to sell, and Dick's Sporting Goods will not stop him from selling Ar-15s.
"I will continue to sell anything that is legal in the United States of America,” Hearn said.
Dick’s said its new policy only affects its Field & Stream stores. The company pulled AR-15s from all of its sporting goods stores in 2012 after the Sandy Hook Massacre.