Imagine that you’re walking into a Dick’s Sporting Goods store to make a gun purchase, something that’s entirely legal under the Second Amendment. But you search the shelves for the firearm of your choice and can’t find it.
It’s not out of stock. Dick’s has simply stopped selling that particular gun. And, though you might not know it, the retail chain has revised its policy on the firearms it sells.
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Good luck finding out about the new policy by searching Dick’s website, though. There’s no mention of the revisions anywhere, leaving it to other gun owners and enthusiasts to spread the message by word of mouth and the Internet.
Shortly after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Dick’s stopped selling AR-pattern and other semiautomatic, magazine-fed rifles, including those for .22s, according to LiveLeak.com
. The company also pulled virtually all Airsoft guns, as well as some paintball and pellet guns, LiveLeak reported. Customers will have to search elsewhere to find a wide variety of the products they could once find at Dick’s.
The Coraopolis, Pennsylvania, chain, which has more than 500 stores in the U.S., went against the grain in changing its policy after Sandy Hook. Chains that continued business as usual included Cabela’s Inc. (another outdoor retailer) and Wal-Mart, Bloomberg reported
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While there was some speculation in the months that followed that Dick’s might eventually reverse its policy, that hasn’t happened — even as the second anniversary of the tragedy passed on Dec. 14, 2014.
So what’s next? Thus far, Dick’s hasn’t released any statements on its plans. Meanwhile, competitors have scooped up any business Dick’s might’ve lost.
that Cabela’s shareholders credited strong firearms sales for a 52-week stock-price high in the first quarter of 2013. That exceeded expectations, and in fact Cabela’s did report a jump in firearms and ammunition sales. Though the ongoing impact of Dick’s decision to trim its firearm inventory remains to be seen, it’s clear that other companies will be moving in to fill the void.
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