$5M Worth of Assault Rifles Destroyed by Dick's Sporting Goods, CEO Says
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
October 8, 2019
Last year, one of the most popular outdoor sporting goods companies in the country, Dick's Sporting Goods, announced that they would no longer sell assault-style rifles at their stores following a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 people dead and reignited the national conversation surrounding guns and the types of weapons available for purchase.
But, the CEO for Dick's Sporting Goods, Ed Stack, said they still needed to figure out what they wanted to do with their remaining inventory. Obviously, they weren't about to restart selling the guns in stores after declaring they were out of the business of selling the rifles and they weren't eager to return the guns back to the manufacturer. So, instead, the company decided to turn their remaining inventory of assault-style weapons into scrap metal.
"I said, 'You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, then we need to destroy them,'" Stack told CBS News in an interview promoting his book, "It's How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference," on Sunday.
Stack says the company, which has 720 stores in 47 states, destroyed over $5 million worth of the weapons formerly sold by the outdoor sporting goods company.
"We probably get a little bit of a backlash, but we didn't expect to get what we got," he said. "All this about, you know, how we were anti-Second Amendment, you know, 'we don't believe in the Constitution,' and none of that could be further from the truth. We just didn't want to sell the assault-style weapons that could inflict that kind of damage."
When the shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas and Stack learned his company had sold the perpetrator a shotgun, that's when he knew they needed to take action.
"We found out that we sold this kid a shotgun," Stack said. "That's when I said, 'We're done.'"
Dick's Sporting Goods isn't the only store no longer selling assault-style rifles. Walmart announced four years ago that their stores would no longer sell those type of weapons and after a mass shooting in one of its stores in El Paso in August, would no longer sell the ammunition for it as well.
Walmart also asked their customers to no longer openly carry guns into their stores, even if it's legally permissable to do so in their state. Other companies, such as CVS, Kroger and Walgreens joined Walmart in asking customers to bring guns into their store.
Photo: Getty Images