Dick’s Sporting Goods today announced it would no longer sell assault rifles and would ban selling any firearm to customers under 21, according to a statement released by CEO Ed Stack.
The chain had sold a shotgun to Nicolas Cruz, who allegedly attacked the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Fla.
Stack made it clear that the rifle sold to Cruz was not the weapon used in the massacre, “but it could have been.”
Following the Sandy Hook school shooting, the Pittsburgh-based company removed assault-style rifles from its Dick’s Stores, but continued selling them at its 35 Field & Stream outlets.
In his statement, Stack noted that Dick’s supports and respects the Second Amendment and appreciates that the vast majority of gun owners are responsible, law-abiding citizens.
“But we have to help solve the problem in front of us,” Stack wrote. “Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America—our kids.”
He called for “common sense gun reform” beyond banning of assault weapons and the sale of guns to people under 21 to include measures such as universal background checks, ending the sale of high-capacity magazine/bump stops and closing private sale/gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.
Stack conceded there's no sure-fire way to prevent future shootings, "but if common sense reform is enabacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it."