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Not all locals believe Dick’s was right to stop selling assault rifles

By Job Kent | Staff Reporter
On March 5, 2018

Two of the country's biggest retail outlets for firearms, Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods, announced on Wednesday that they were changing their policies on the sale of guns, pushing themselves into the center of the polarizing national argument over gun control.

Earlier that day, Dick's said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles in its stores. The retailer likewise said that it would never again offer high-limit magazines and would likewise require any firearm purchaser to be at least 21 year old, no matter the local laws.

Under federal law, 21 is the legal age to purchase a handgun. Be 18 year olds can purchase self-loading rifles and different guns.

The double announcement, made two weeks after 17 students and staff were slaughtered in the school shooting in Parkland, were among the most noteworthy moves made on firearms by corporate America. The two retailers said their decisions were a reaction to the mass shooting.

Dick's decision came on the heels of several major companies such as Delta taking steps to separate themselves from the powerful gun lobby, the NRA.  The gunman in the Parkland massacre legally purchased his assault rifle at a Dick’s in Broward County.

Leon County residents had mixed reactions after the major retailers made their decisions.

"I think we are settling on a considerable measure of silly choices and we have to do the exploration rather than trying to say it`s the weapons causing the issue," said  Brandon Oatts, who lives in Leon County.

"I do feel we have to take a gander at policy changes. However, I truly think we have to do it in an informed manner instead of simply completing a snappy response as what everybody`s doing in light of feeling now," Oatts added.

A Dick's Sporting Goods customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was relieved that the sporting goods giant would no longer sell assault-style rifles.

"I think it`s something worth being thankful for on the grounds that it`s not necessary to have the capacity to buy them in stores, or to have the capacity to get them by any stretch of the imagination," she said.

Edward Stack, the 63-year-old CEO of Dick’s whose father established the store in 1948, made the announcement last Wednesday.. Stack clarified that he was intentionally steering his company in a responsible direction in the aftermath of the mass shooting in South Florida.

“When we saw what happened in Parkland, we were so disturbed and upset,” Stack said in an interview. “We love these kids and their rallying cry.”

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.”

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