Dick's Sporting Goods Will Stop Selling All AR-15s — And Other Companies Are Taking Note

"We deeply believe that this country's most precious gift is our children."

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Dick's Sporting Goods said on Wednesday that it will stop selling assault-style military rifles immediately. The assault-style rifles, including the controversial AR-15, had already been removed from sporting goods stores after the Sandy Hook school shooting. Now, Dick's said it will be removing them from all 35 of their Field and Stream stores.

"We deeply believe that this country's most precious gift is our children," Dick's said in a statement on Twitter. "They are our future. We must keep them safe."

The company also announced it would no longer sell firearms to someone under the age of 21, nor will it sell high capacity magazines. The announcement came as big-name companies are cutting ties with the National Rifle Association, which has been under increased scrutiny since its national spokesperson Dana Loesch appeared in a CNN town hall.  

Dick's announcement comes after the school shooting two weeks ago in Parkland, Florida, when an AR-15 was used to kill 17 students and faculty members. That shooter, a 19-year-old, had previously purchased a shotgun at a Dick's Sporting Goods. It wasn't the weapon used in the shooting in Parkland, but it did bring the issue to Dick's front door. 

"When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,"  Edward Stack, the 63-year-old chief executive of Dick's, told The New York Times. "We love these kids and their rallying cry, 'Enough is enough.' It got to us."

Hunting rifles stand on a shelf in a Dick's Sporting Goods store. Roman Tiraspolsky.

Since the shooting, students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have scored a number of political wins in an effort to stop gun violence. They've pressured brands to cut ties with the NRA, forced Sen. Marco Rubio to make new gun control commitments on national television, pressured President Donald Trump to call for a bump stock ban, gotten a commitment from Florida governor Rick Scott to raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21, and raised millions of dollars for March For Our Lives, which they are planning at the end of this month.

Along with Dick's, both Walmart and Kroger have since announced they will no longer sell guns to people under the age of 21. 

"We're going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation," Stack said.

Shutterstock: Cover photo / Jonathan Weiss  / Roman Tiraspolsky.

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