Dick's Sporting Goods stopped selling assault rifles -- and now their sales are surging

Dick's Sporting Goods stopped selling assault rifles -- and now their sales are surging
Dick's Sporting Goods image by Mike Mozart from Funny YouTube, USA - Dick's Sporting Goods, CC BY 2.0.

At the beginning of 2018, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it was pulling all assault-style weapons off the shelves at its 125 stores and burning them. After the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, the sporting goods outlet first said it would lift the minimum age to purchase assault-style weapons to 21, up from 18. The chain subsequently decided to get rid of all assault-style weapons from a large selection of their stores and openly hired a lobbying firm to handle the promotion of gun safety laws. At each step, gun-loving snowflakes across the country waved their guns in the air and threatened to boycott. The company that had been struggling with sales then saw a rise in its quarterly profits, much to the chagrin of those Second Amendment patriots. Dick’s also saw an initial slump after making the change, something the NRA and others lauded as proof that you don’t take away ‘Merica’s bang-bang machines.

Since the most recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, reports have come out that the sporting goods retailer has considered doing away with the entire business of selling firearms at its stores. One reason to consider it is that it might be better business. CEO Ed Stack released a statement on Thursday, touting the company’s biggest quarterly rise in sales since 2016. “We are very enthusiastic about our business and are pleased to increase our full year sales and earnings outlook,” he said.

Stack has been pretty transparent about his company’s positions on guns and the discussions they have had. In March, he explained to The Washington Post that “What I promised the families in Parkland when I left is that we would keep this conversation going. And that’s what I’ve done.” Whether or not Stack and Dick’s Sporting Goods will leave the firearms business entirely is anybody’s guess. But rising sales of everything but guns can really grease the wheels of progress.


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