Dick’s Sporting Goods destroyed $5 million in inventory of assault-style rifles


Dicks Sporting Goods has destroyed $5 million of its inventory of assault-style rifles since it announced last year it would stop selling them.

Dick’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Stack wrote in his book that rather than return the weapons to manufacturers, it turned them into scrap, USA Today reported. The book, “It’s How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference,” goes on sale today.

Stack reiterated the statement in an interview with “CBS News Sunday” on Oct. 6.

“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, then we need to destroy them,” Stack said.

He added that he removed AR-15s from all Dick’s stores after the Connecticut Sandy Hook shootings in 2012, which left 27 dead including 20 6- and 7-year-old children. Then, after last year’s Parkland, Fla., shooting left 17 dead at a high school, he pulled high-capacity magazines, removed all assault-style weapons from Dick’s shelves and stopped selling guns to anyone younger than 21.

In a February 2018 statement, Stack made his company’s stand on guns clear.

“We have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us,” he wrote. “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 company lost about $250 million because of those decisions, Stack told CBS.

Reaction to the interview has been mixed.

The National Rifle Association tweeted that the company destroyed the weapons “to keep them out of private hands” and referenced an article by right-wing media outlet Breitbart, which reported that 100 Dick’s stores no longer sell guns at all.

Dick’s announced last March that it pulled all firearms in 125 of its 720 stores. Depending on how well those stores perform, it may expand the policy to additional locations.

Dick’s has seven stores in Mississippi. It’s unclear whether any of those stores have been affected by the policy.

Some on social media said Dick’s gun policies had them stop patronizing them, while others said they were proud to support the store.

Last month, CEOs from 145 companies signed a letter urging U.S. Senate leaders to enact gun reforms including expanded background checks. Signatories included companies such as Conde Nast and Twitter.

“These proposals are common-sense, bipartisan and widely supported by the American public,” the CEOs wrote about legislation passed by the House. “It is time for the Senate to take action.”