Dick's Sporting Goods bans assault weapon sales, community reacts
On Feb. 28, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it will no longer sell assault-style weapons in its stores.
According to a press release from chairman and CEO Edward W. Stack, Dick’s sold a shotgun to Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz in November of 2017. They followed all rules and regulations, but now will no longer sell any type of gun to anyone under the age of 21. They also will no longer carry high capacity magazines.
"It was not the gun, nor type of gun, (Cruz) used in the shooting," Stack said in the press release. "But it could have been."
Stack hopes to see common sense gun reform from elected officials. Stack said he hopes to see more politicians push to ban assault-style weapons, high capacity magazines and bump stocks along with raising the minimum age to 21.
“We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children,” Stack said. “They are our future. We must keep them safe.”
A Dick's Sporting Goods store in Mount Pleasant is located at 4208 East Blue Grass Road.
Bruce Eggers, president of the Black Creek Conservation Club, doesn’t see guns as the problem. Eggers said the need in this country isn’t to ban guns but to take care of the mentally ill. He said protection must be implemented in gun-free zones such as schools.
Eggers doesn’t have a problem with Dick’s implementing this new rule because he feels everybody is entitled to their own opinion in this country.
“My only problem is people making decisions to make themselves feel good because they’re doing something,” Eggers said.
Eggers expects to see the conservative consumers to stay away from Dick’s and shop at local gun stores, but expects to see more liberal-minded customers to give more business to Dick’s.
The new rule will not affect other gun stores in Mount Pleasant besides Dick's. Locally-owned gun stores in Mount Pleasant include Central Michigan Gunsmithing, Central Arms LLC and Fireworks Guns and Ammo.
The local businesses can expect to see an opportunity for new consumers following the ban at Dick's, Eggers said.
Emily Durbin, the Michigan Chapter Leader of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, hopes to see more common sense gun laws.
Durbin said she and her organization appreciate the movement Dick’s has created. They hope other retailers and lawmakers follow their lead when it comes to gun reform.
Durbin said states with stricter gun laws see lower rates of gun violence. When businesses take action to ensure people who might misuse guns don’t get access to them, she would expect to see a safer community.
“If we were to see more of a wholesale cultural change in terms of our retailers stepping up to protect public safety, that will have a downstream effect on the gun violence in our community,” Durbin said.
With the younger demographic making an outcry regarding gun reform, Durbin anticipates families to shop at Dick’s following their call to action. With mothers being supporters of safety issues and with them holding such buying power within families, she sees a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.