WASHINGTON – Dick’s Sporting Goods, the largest gun retailer in the United States, will halt the sale of firearms to anyone under 21 and completely stop selling assault rifles, the company’s CEO, Edward Stack, said on Wednesday.
“We’re staunch supporters of the Second Amendment, I’m a gun owner myself. But we’ve just decided that based on what’s happened and with these guns, we don’t want to be a part of this story, and we’ve eliminated these guns permanently,” Stack said during an interview on the Good Morning America TV show.
The retailer also chose to ban the sale of high-capacity magazines.
According to Stack, these decisions were in response to the national debate that started after the tragic shooting in a Florida high school two weeks ago that left 17 people dead.
With this step, the CEO said that he hopes more lawmakers will join the debate and will pass “common sense gun reform,” increasing the minimum age to buy a gun to 21 and banning the sale of assault rifles.
The decision, which was praised by many progressive sectors in the US, was made after several companies decided last week to cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
Among these firms are Delta Airlines, United Airlines, MetLife insurance and car rental companies Hertz, Avis and Enterprise, which cancelled their contracts and discounts for NRA members.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has more than 700 stores in the US and is the first major gun retailer to restrict firearms sales.
In 2012, after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut, where 20 children and six teachers were killed, Dick’s banned the sale of assault rifles, but it resumed selling them again six months later at its Field & Stream outdoor recreation stores.
Last week, President Donald Trump discussed a possible ban on the sale of bump stocks, which are devices that make it easier to fire rounds more quickly, and raising the legal age to buy firearms from 18 to 21.