Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack has revealed that the company destroyed $5 million worth of what he calls “assault rifles” as part of its new strategy to turn away from firearms.
Further, Stack hinted during an appearance on “CBS Sunday Morning” that the chain might stop selling guns altogether, according to CBS News.
Stack said that the company, which pulled modern sporting rifles off the shelf last year after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, has stopped selling guns completely at 100 of the chain’s stores and may expand that ban chain-wide
“We’ve got the whole category under strategic review to see what we’re going to do with this category,” he said.
“So, there’s a chance you may stop selling firearms completely?” Lee Cowan of CBS asked in the interview.
“The whole category is under strategic review,” Stack replied.
During the interview, Stack talked about the chain’s decision to yank modern sporting rifles off the shelves and stop selling them.
“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,” he said.
He noted that the decision was made after learning the gunman in the Parkland shooting bought a gun at a Dick’s outlet.
“We found out that we sold this kid a shotgun,” Stack said. “That’s when I said, ‘We’re done.'”
“Even though that wasn’t the gun he used?” Cowan asked.
“Even though it wasn’t the gun he used,” Stack said. “It could have been.”
During the interview, Stack said that when Dick’s decided no one under 21 could buy a gun, he expected to lose money — and he did. He said he estimated losses would reach a quarter of a billion dollars, which they did.
He also talked about destroying what the company would never sell.
“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,'” he said, saying $5 million worth of guns were turned into scrap metal.
The company’s policy was called into question by Dianna Muller, a 22-year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department who voiced the gun rights perspective to Congress at a recent hearing.
“If they don’t want guns, that’s their right. It feels really anti-American to start creating public policy through corporate policy,” she said.
To Muller, banning modern sporting rifles is the wrong solution.
“This rifle, and any other rifle, kills fewer people than hammers and blunt objects every year, according to FBI statistics, so it doesn’t make any sense to me that this is going to solve the problem that we are having,” she said.
Muller said the issue is not the guns that are used in any single crime.
“It leads me to believe that there’s going to be another tragedy with a different gun, that they’re going to come after the next gun,” she said.
“This is the slippery slope?” Cowan asked.
“Until it’s all gone,” Muller said.
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