By Robert Laurie
If you’re a person who pays attention to guns, gun ownership, or 2nd Amendment issues, you’ve probably heard the (allegedly) big news. Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the nation’s largest sporting goods chains, is no longer going to sell “assault weapons.” If you really pay attention, and have a good memory, you might be experiencing a bout of Déjà vu.
That’s because you’ve heard this news before. Dick’s enjoyed widespread publicity when it made basically the exact same announcement about 6 years ago. In the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting, Dick’s said it would no longer stock “scary looking weapons that are functionally the same as less-scary weapons” – also known as “assault rifles.” For a while, they were true to their word.
Then, Dick’s opened a sub-chain of 35 Field & Stream stores. Those outlets carried “scary guns,” and according to anecdotal reports, they also began creeping back into Dick’s flagship properties as well. My local Dick’s doesn’t offer them but, if yours does, that will no longer be the case.
According to the New York Times, Dicks drew a line in the sand this morning.
One of the nation’s largest sports retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods, said Wednesday morning it was immediately ending sales of all assault-style rifles in its stores.
The retailer also said that it would no longer sell high-capacity magazines and that it would not sell any gun to anyone under 21 years of age, regardless of local laws.
Edward Stack, the 63-year-old chief executive of Dick’s whose father founded the store in 1948, is deliberately steering his company directly into the storm, making clear that the company’s new policy was a direct response to the Florida shooting.
“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” Mr. Stack said in an interview Tuesday evening. “We love these kids and their rallying cry, ‘enough is enough.’ It got to us.”
He added, “We’re going to take a stand and step up and tell people our view and, hopefully, bring people along into the conversation.”
As I said, this is the second time they’ve done this. The bigger news here seems to be raising the purchase age to 21. That plan may raise some constitutional issues, but we’ll have to wait and see.
All of that said, I will admit that I have browsed the firearms at a local Dick’s Sporting Goods. Here was my takeaway: Everything was overpriced, the selection was extremely limited, and there wasn’t much in the way of customer service.
I don’t want to be the guy that says, “do people really buy their guns at Dick’s?” But… seriously, do people really buy their guns at Dick’s? It’s honestly hard for me to imagine buying a firearm at a big box store, since I know I’m getting gouged.
People, please hear me. There are much better options.
No matter where you live, your local gun store is run by conscientious, law-abiding people who are ridiculously well-informed about the products they sell. I’m not joking. If you think you know a lot about these weapons, there is always a guy working at your mom and pop shop who will put your knowledge to shame. Yes, I admit, a gun shop can be a bit intimidating at first. But if you’re tough enough to handle a gun, you should be tough enough to handle the nervousness that comes with being a neophyte.
They’ve seen customers like you before, they’ll be nice, they’ll sell you something that will work for you, and they offer a wider selection while almost always having better pricing. You’ll leave happy. They want your business, I want you to give them your business, and now it seems that even Dick’s wants you to shop with them.
Don’t make the mistake of buying your guns from Dicks.