DICK’S to stop selling assault-style rifles

Sharon Fisher//February 28, 2018//

DICK’S to stop selling assault-style rifles

Sharon Fisher//February 28, 2018//

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An Idaho DICK'S sporting goods store.
A DICK’S sporting goods store in Boise. The company, which owns five Idaho stores, has said it will stop selling certain firearms and accessories after the most recent school shooting. Photo by Liz Patterson.

DICK’S Sporting Goods, which operates five stores in Idaho, has announced that it will stop selling certain firearms and accessories after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Ed Stack
Ed Stack

“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” Chairman and CEO Ed Stack said in a statement, where he noted that the store had sold a shotgun to the alleged shooter, although it was not used in the Parkland incident. “We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us.”

The company removed assault rifles from the DICK’S stores after a shooting killed 20 children and six school staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut in 2012. On Feb. 28, the company said it would also stop selling assault-style rifles from its 35 Field & Stream stores, of which there are none in Idaho. The company will also no longer sell high-capacity magazines, noting that it has never sold bump stocks. Finally, it will no longer sell firearms to people under 21 years of age.

Bobbi-Jo Meuleman, director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, said Feb. 28 that arms and ammunition are important to Idaho’s economy. She added that the DICK’S decision won’t have a significant impact on the state’s weapons industry. The five Idaho DICK’S stores are in Boise, Nampa, Twin Falls, Pocatello, and Meridian.

As of 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there are 257 sporting goods stores employers in Idaho, providing a total of 2,792 jobs, according to Kathryn Tacke, a regional economist for the Idaho Department of Labor, in Lewiston. “It’s important to remember that a lot of other stores sell ammunition and guns, and that sporting goods involves equipment for a lot of sports and not just guns and ammo,” she said.

The size of the gun and ammunition manufacturing sector in Idaho depends on whom you ask. According to Commerce, Idaho employs 1,565 people in the firearms and ammunition industry sector, with an average annual wage of $48,619, as of Q4 2017, Meuleman said. According to Labor, Idaho employed 2,007 people in its firearms and ammunition sector among 18 employers earning more than $87.8 million as of 2016, Tacke said.

According to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Idaho has two importers, 82 manufacturers, and 81 dealers, and 1,452 federal firearms licensees, as of 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available. Idaho has a total of 49,566 National Firearms Act registered weapons as of April 2017.

DICK’S stock rose almost 1 percent on Feb. 28, the day DICK’S announced the decision. In the company’s most recent quarter for which it has announced results, it reported consolidated net income of $36.9 million, or $0.35 per diluted share, compared with its expectations of $0.22 to 0.30 per diluted share. Net sales for the quarter increased 7.4 percent to approximately $1.94 billion. The company does not separate out its firearms sales and was not able to provide Idaho sales figures by press time.

In the third quarter, the company opened 15 new DICK’S Sporting Goods stores and six new Field & Stream stores, as well as closing two specialty concept stores. As of October 28, the company operated 719 DICK’S Sporting Goods stores in 47 states, with approximately 38.2 million square feet, 98 Golf Galaxy stores in 32 states, with approximately 2.1 million square feet, and 35 Field & Stream stores in 16 states, with approximately 1.6 million square feet, according to its quarterly statement.

Stack is the son of founder Richard “Dick” Stack. He has worked for the company full time since 1977 in a variety of positions, including president, store manager and merchandise manager.  He has served as chairman and chief executive officer since 1984 when the elder Stack retired from the then two-store chain.

Walmart stopped selling military-style semiautomatic weapons in August 2015.