By Ben Popken
Following the mass shooting at a Florida high school, one of the nation's largest sporting goods stores announced Wednesday that it will enact tougher gun sale restrictions — including no longer selling assault-style rifles.
Saying "thoughts and prayers are not enough," Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack announced several gun sale restrictions at its over 600 nationwide chains. The chain will stop selling assault-style rifles, end the sale of firearms to buyers under 21 (up from federal minimum age of 18), stop selling high-capacity magazines and continue to never sell controversial bump stocks, the company said.
"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," said Stack in a statement. "But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids."
The move comes as several companies have publicly broken with the NRA and ended NRA member discount programs after the gun lobbying group objected to calls for stricter gun control measures.
The company said it had sold a shotgun to the Parkland shooter last November. Though the gun wasn't used in the shooting, "it could have been."
Dick's Sporting Goods further called on politicians to adopt its new store policies as laws. It also asked lawmakers to adopt universal background checks with more mental health and law enforcement interaction data, to create a universal database of banned firearm buyers, and stop allowing guns to be sold privately and at gun shows without background checks.
"Some will say these steps can’t guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again," said Stack in the statement. "They may be correct — but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it."