LOS ANGELES (CBSLA/AP) — Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the nation’s largest sporting goods retailers, will immediately end sales of assault-style rifles in its stores and won’t sell guns to anyone under 21 years old following the school massacre in Parkland, Florida.
In a statement posted online, Dick’s Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said the retailer legally sold a shotgun to accused Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz in November 2017.
While it was not the actual gun, nor type of gun, used in the shooting, Stack said “it could have been.”
Dick’s says it will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also known as sporting rifles. These weapons had already been removed from all Dick’s stores after the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 kindergartners and staffers, but will now also be removed from the company’s 35 Field & Stream stores.
The sporting goods retailer also said they will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21, or sell high-capacity magazines.
The announcement comes the same day as students return to Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed in the mass shooting on Valentine’s Day. About 50 uniformed officers, therapy dogs and grief counselors, were on hand to help students feel secure and ease back into their school routines.
Stack said Dick’s is prepared for any potential backlash, but will not change its policies on gun sales.
“Some will say these steps can’t guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again,” the statement said. “They may be correct — but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it.”
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)