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Money News

Dick’s Sporting Goods Ends Assault Weapons Sales

February 28, 2018

  • Dick’s Sporting Goods is ending assault weapons sales
  • The national sporting goods chain is also increasing its gun buying age to 21
  • Businesses frequently get involved in politics and current events
2 min read

Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the nation’s largest sporting goods retailers, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer sell assault rifles, and it will end gun sales to people under the age of 21.

The move comes after a public outcry following the shooting deaths of 17 students and teachers at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14. The alleged killer used an assault-style weapon called an AR-15.

Students from the school have sparked a national movement, calling for stricter gun control laws nationally. Many in Congress and the National Rifle Association (NRA), the influential gun lobbying group, have pushed back against gun-buying restrictions. But several state governors, including Florida’s Rick Scott, are now calling for stronger background checks and increasing the age for buying a gun to 21.

You may not know it, but companies often play an important role in politics and political movements.

Dick’s employs 14,600 full-time and 25,900 part-time associates in 800 stores, according to its most recent annual report.

Business and politics

You may not know it, but companies often play an important role in politics and political movements.

Some provide cash to lobbyists for agendas they’d like to advance. Banks, for example, reportedly spent a staggering $2 billion in 2015 and 2016 to support political candidates they believed would roll back regulations enacted after the financial crisis, that restricted some of their riskier lending and trading activities. Over the last 30 years, oil companies have reportedly spent more than $300 million to support candidates who favor their industry.

Others get involved directly in causes. For example, numerous large public companies, including General Electric, Salesforce, and Paypal signalled their support for LGBT rights in states that have enacted legislation aimed at rolling back civil rights, by threatening boycotts in recent years. Similarly, Target waded into the so-called “bathroom bill” debate when it announced its transgender customers could use the bathrooms of their chosen gender.

Threat of boycotts

Plenty of companies have entered the current gun control controversy by ending favorable discounts for NRA members in recent weeks.

These include airlines Delta and United, car companies Avis, Budget, Enterprise, and Hertz, insurance company MetLife, as well as cybersecurity company Symantec, among others.

On the other hand, big names such as Amazon, Apple TV, and Fedex have faced the prospect of consumer boycotts for not severing ties to the gun lobby.  Amazon and Apple TV offer NRA-TV, the NRA’s dedicated television news channel, as part their streaming packages, and some customers would like those services terminated, according to reports.

Similarly, shipping company Fedex has taken some heat from consumers because it continues to offer discounts to NRA members. The company said in a statement Monday that the NRA was “one of hundreds of organizations in our alliances/association marketing program whose members receive discounted rates for FedEx shipping.”

By Jeremy Quittner
Jeremy Quittner is the senior writer for Stash.

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