Companies Make A Stand on Weapons


Dick’s Sporting Goods posted this statement on Twitter.

Zach Combest, Website Editor

The big wigs are making a stand on gun control and I’m not talking about the government.

Dick’s Sporting Goods and other companies have announced major changes to their stores to combat gun control.

Two of the nation’s leading gun sellers, Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods, took major steps on Wednesday to limit their sales of firearms. This action put themselves into the middle of the polarizing national debate over gun control. Both companies made many changes that consumers will see immediately.

Walmart is the biggest gun seller in the nation and they announced that they will be moving their age minimum for someone to buy a gun to 21 years old. They also said it would no longer sell items resembling assault-style rifles, including toys and air guns.

Early in the day, Dick’s said it was immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores. The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and would also require any gun buyer to be at least 21, regardless of local laws. According to federal law, a person must be at least 21 to buy a handgun from a firearms dealer. But 18-year-olds can buy semiautomatic rifles and other firearms.

This wasn’t the only thing Dick’s and Walmart announced this week. Walmart and Dick’s acted after a number of major companies moved last week to dissociate themselves from the National Rifle Association (NRA). Hertz car rental, MetLife insurance and Delta Air Lines, among others, publicly ended their relationships with the organization. These companies used to offer special deals to NRA members.

The companies made these announcement because of the tragic school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, where 17 people were killed.

Dick’s Sporting Goods further called on politicians to adopt its new store policies as laws. It also asked lawmakers to adopt universal background checks with more mental health and law enforcement interaction data, to create a universal database of banned firearm buyers, and stop allowing guns to be sold privately and at gun shows without background checks.

Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York, where the company was founded, praised the retailer’s move. “I commend Dick’s Sporting Goods, a member of the New York family, for their leadership in taking smart measures to keep weapons out of the wrong hands,” Cuomo said in a statement.

Kroger followed in Dick’s and Walmart’s steps and said today that would would not sell firearms to people under 21. The nation’s largest grocery chain sells guns from 44 of its Fred Meyer stores in the West, but they said Thursday that it’s become clear that gun retail outlets must go beyond what current U.S. laws requires.

In a company release, Kroger Co. said, “In response to the tragic events in Parkland and elsewhere, we’ve taken a hard look at our policies and procedures for firearm sales.” Lawmakers are now working to find solutions to the gun control debate and compies like Dick’s, Walmart and Kroger are making a statement.