Dick’s Sporting Goods made headlines after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School by announcing the chain would raise age restrictions on certain firearms and stop selling all “assault-style” rifles. Now they’ve made an even bigger announcement: the retailer plans to destroy all of the guns that fall under the new policy.
“When Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would no longer sell modern sporting rifles at its Field & Stream stores following the Valentine’s Day shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school, one question was what would happen to the unsold firearms in its inventory,” writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Dick’s management took a hard line on their store policy. “As a gun owner,” Edward W. Stack, CEO of Dick’s wrote in the Washington Post, “I support the Second Amendment and understand why, for many, the right to bear arms is as American as baseball and apple pie. But I also agree with what Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in his majority opinion in 2008’s landmark Heller case: ‘Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.’ It is ‘not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose’.”
Firearms retailers like Dick’s buy from distributors and manufacturers. When merchandise doesn’t sell, Dick’s slashes prices or returns the guns. Dick’s is opting to make a statement, though, and has decided to destroy their unsold inventory.
“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” a spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
For the “assault-style rifles” this means a complicated series of cuts that chop the gun’s receiver into pieces, rendering it useless. The guns will be chopped at the company’s distribution centers. What’s left after the cutting will be recycled.
“The new gun sales policy at Dick’s Sporting Goods had backing from the Sisters of Mercy,” the Post-Gazette writes. “In addition to the decision on pulling assault-style rifles from its 35 specialty Field & Stream locations, the sporting goods chain said in February that it also would no longer sell high capacity magazines or sell firearms to anyone under 21 years old….”
While Dick’s is making headlines for their policy changes, they are also facing lawsuits. The age restrictions are more strict than Federal restrictions, leading some to see the new policy as discriminatory.