CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - The nation's largest sporting goods store has announced that it will no longer sell assault-style weapons at all its stores.
The business decision by Dick's Sporting Goods is getting mixed reaction across the country. Some are applauding the move, while others say they will no longer shop there.
It was the tragic Florida school shooting that pushed Edward Stack, Dick's Sporting Goods' CEO, to make a move.
"We said we need to do something," he said.
On Feb. 14, a 19-year-old former student shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Douglas Stoneman High School in Parkland, FL.
Nikolas Cruz, who police said used an AR-15 during the school shooting, is charged with 17 counts of murder.
Then it was discovered that Cruz had purchased a shotgun at one of the stores. While it wasn't used in the shooting, the company decided to change several parts of its gun policy.
"We talked about what we needed to do, and we felt that we needed to make a statement - that we will no longer sell assault-type rifles, high capacity magazines and a few other things," says Stack.
Those types of weapons had already been pulled from the majority of its shelves following Sandy Hook, but this decision extends to all of its stores. A letter from the CEO also says they will no longer sell high capacity magazines and no firearms will be sold to anyone under 21.
It's a move getting mixed reaction online, but shoppers NBC12 talked to say it's the company's choice.
"Good or bad, I guess time will tell," says Harold Ring. "If it makes the CEO sleep better at night, good for him."
At Bob Moates Sport Shop in Chesterfield, co-owner David Hancock says he already uses discretion when selling assault-type rifles.
"We choose not to sell them to anybody under 21, and it's a question of our opinion of maturity," says Hancock.
Hancock says they can make exceptions, including if they've known the buyer since they were a child or they're in the military.
He says discretion is used all the time.
"We do have the right though to deny people who are approved, and frequently we do, because they've made some statement or indication that they plan to do something reckless or wrong," says Hancock.
Dick's Sporting Goods also called on lawmakers to enact commonsense gun reform, including a ban on assault-style weapons, raising the minimum purchase age to 21 and universal background checks.
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