By: Teresa Mull
Dick’s Sporting Goods has apparently made good on its promise to destroy so-called “assault rifles.”
On April 17, 2018, Breitbart News reported that Dick’s was destroying its “assault-style rifle” inventory, rather than returning the firearms to their manufacturers. Fox News quoted a spokesperson from Dick’s saying, “We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change. We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
During his October 6, CBS News appearance, CEO Ed Stack said the company ended up destroying $5 million worth of “assault-style rifles.”
GPM reported in April 2018:
Dick’s Sporting Goods says the company is in the process of destroying all guns and accessories the retailer pulled from the shelves in February and stopped selling.
“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” a Dick’s Sporting Goods spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
Dick’s announced in February it would stop selling “assault-style” weapons like the one used during the shooting in Parkland, Florida. The company also raised its minimum age to purchase weapons to 21, sparking backlash.
And in September of last year, GPM reported:
Dick’s Sporting Goods’ sales have fallen following the chain store’s enactment of a new policy that halted the sale of so-called “assault-style weapons” in their Field & Stream stores.
A recent report by the Wall Street Journal showed the company’s sales are down four percent, due, at least in part, to the company’s exit from the gun market.
“This is what happens when you follow the left down their rabbit hole,” Michael Hammond, legislative director at Gun Owners of America, told Gunpowder Magazine. “Companies that have tried to make the politically correct decision have ultimately suffered henceforth.”
In 2000, Smith & Wesson bent to the Clinton Administration and restricted the way the company makes, sells, and distributes handguns. The move ultimately tanked Smith & Wesson’s sales, which are still faltering to this day.
After the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, Remington stopped production of the Bushmaster AR-15. Six years later, the company had to file for bankruptcy protection.
“If you do what the left say, ultimately you end up in the dumpster,” Hammond said.
David Almasi, a conservative shareholder and vice president of the National Center for Public Policy Research, told Fox Business’ Stuart Varney he was the only shareholder at Dick’s recent shareholders’ meeting to tell the company to keep selling firearms.
But, when the company decided to stop selling firearms anyway, Almasi told The Blaze, “There’s no way this chain is going to get out of it, and unfortunately, they’re going to have to ride this down.”
Dick’s CEO, Edward Stack, defended the company’s policy in a conference call with shareholders and reporters.
“Stack told analysts that a move by Under Armour to sell more of its merchandise through lower-cost outlets like Kohl’s and Macy’s has hurt sales at Dick’s,” CBS News reported.
“We are downplaying the hunt business based on what’s going on, not only from our policy on firearms, but just the industry is challenged,” Stack said, according to CBS.
Stack’s comments show a naiveté that is dangerous for a company’s executive to hold. Between March and May of 2018, gun sales were flying off the shelves at a record pace.
“Dick’s obviously thought that if they pulled guns from their shelves, they would get their doggy treat. Turns out, guns made up a significant portion of their sales,” Hammond said.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.