When the national retailer Dick’s Sporting Goods announced earlier this year that it would stop selling assault-style weapons and raise its gun-purchasing age to 21, CEO Edward Stack made sure people knew he was still a supporter of the Second Amendment. While his decision was a response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, he also told Good Morning America that he was a gun owner himself and that he honored America’s right to own guns; in the company’s statement, he pointed out that the “the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens.”
Recent moves from Dick’s, though, has the gun community doubting where the company’s, and Stack’s, loyalties truly lie. Last week, federal documents came to light revealing that Dick’s had hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby for gun control in Congress, a move that officially began at the end of April. Dick’s also shared last month that it would destroy the weapons it will no longer sell — a strong statement about its attitude toward this inventory.
As a response, vendors are gradually backing away from the Pennsylvania-based retailer. Yesterday, the parent company of Mossberg guns, O.F. Mossberg & Sons Inc., announced in a press release that it would no longer do business with Dick’s. It was not diplomatic about the reason for this decision either.
“It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control,” CEO Iver Mossberg wrote. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”
In its release, Mossberg urges shoppers to “visit one of the thousands of pro-Second Amendment firearm retailers to make their purchases” — a real jab at Dick’s position on gun control.
Two days ago, MKS Supply, which makes Hi-Point Firearms, also announced it would no longer do business with Dick’s. In a statement, MKS wrote that it “values the customers that it proudly serves and the God-given freedoms that they enjoy” and that it believes it’s “equally important to show our commitment to our customers by standing behind their Second Amendment rights.”