Dick’s Sporting Goods, the nation’s largest sporting goods retailer, is banning sales of assault weapons at all its stores after the Parkland, Fl. school shooting, USA Today reports. The firm announced the move in an open letter and an appearance by CEO Ed Stack on “Good Morning America.” Assault weapon sales ended at Dick’s-branded stores after the Newtown, Ct. school shooting in 2012, but the company was still selling them at its Field & Stream locations, which specialize in hunting and outdoors products. “As we looked at what happened down in Parkland, we were so disturbed and saddened by what happened, we felt we really needed to do something,” Stack said. The retailer will also end sales of high-capacity magazines and sales of guns to people under 21 years old.
Stack acknowledged that the Parkland school shooter had purchased a shotgun at one of the company’s stores in November. Though the killer did not use the gun in the shooting, the realization served as a catalyst for action. Stack said the company remains a “staunch” supporter of Second Amendment rights, adding that he owns a gun himself. The move comes as businesses are coming under pressure to cut ties to the gun-rights lobby. Several major companies have cut discounts for members of the National Rifle Association, including Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Enterprise, Avis Budget, Hertz, TrueCar, MetLife and Symantec. Asked whether Dick’s is prepared for a backlash, Stack said yes. “We know that this isn’t going to make everyone happy but when we take a look at what those kids and the parents and the heroes in the school, what they did, our view was if the kids can be brave enough to organize like they have, we can be brave enough to take these out of here,” Stack said.