A letter from Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack

Dick's ends sales of assault-style rifles in stores

Posted: Feb 28, 2018 1:04 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — Dick's Sporting Goods will immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21, the company said Wednesday, as its CEO made an emphatic call for significant changes to U.S. gun policy after the massacre at a Florida high school.

The strongly worded announcement from the sporting goods chain that is also a major U.S. gun retailer came as students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, return to class for the first time since a teenager killed 17 students and educators with an AR-15 two weeks ago.

"When we saw what the kids were going through and the grief of the parents and the kids who were killed in Parkland, we felt we needed to do something," Chairman and CEO Ed Stack said on "Good Morning America."

The following is a letter written by Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. CEO and Chairman Ed Stack.

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. We have tremendous respect and admiration for the students organizing and making their voices heard regarding gun violence in schools and elsewhere in our country.

We have heard you. The nation has heard you. We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that's in front of us. 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. Following all of the rules and laws, we sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter in November of 2017. It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting. But it could have been.

Clearly this indicates on so many levels that the systems in place are not effective to protect our kids and our citizens.

We believe it's time to do something about it.

Beginning today, 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.

At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations:

— Ban assault-style firearms

— Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21

— Ban high capacity magazines and bump stocks

— Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law

— Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms

— Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks

We hope others join us in this effort to let our kids know that their pleas are being taken seriously. Some will say these steps can't guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again. They may be correct - but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it.

We deeply believe that this country's most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe.

Sincerely,

Edward W. Stack, Chairman & CEO Dick's Sporting Goods

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