- Customers are calling for Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to stop selling assault-style rifles.
- Dick’s Sporting Goods announced a change to its firearm policy on Wednesday following the shooting earlier this month at a high school in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people.
- Gun sales are a major business for Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, which offer deals such as NRA Freedom Days.
With Dick’s Sporting Goods announcing it will no longer sell assault-style rifles, the pressure is on at its rival Bass Pro Shops.
On Wednesday, Dick’s CEO, Ed Stack, announced that the company would no longer sell assault-style weapons and would stop selling guns to people under 21.
Now people are calling on Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s, an outdoor-recreation retailer it acquired last year, to do the same.
Customers have flooded the retailers’ social-media accounts with requests that it follow Dick’s example and change their policies on firearm sales.
“We encourage you to follow Dick’s Sporting Goods lead and stop selling assault weapons and stop selling all weapons to anyone under 21,” one person wrote in a Facebook comment. “My family will not shop at your stores here in Denver until that happens.”
“We are gun owners and Cabelas customers,” another person wrote on Cabela’s Facebook page. “We’ve spent a lot of money at your store over the last few years. You were our preferred store for all things outdoors and we loved shopping with you but we will be taking our business to Dicks sports until you step up on gun control.”
“As a long-time patron, I urge you to please follow DICK’S Sporting Goods’ lead and stop selling assault rifles and high capacity magazines,” another person said in a comment on Bass Pro Shops’ Facebook page. “When the gun used in the next shooting is traced back to your store, I promise you will lose many more customers than you stand to gain now by doing [the] right thing.”
Nikolas Cruz, who is accused of killing 17 people in the shooting in Parkland, Florida, bought a gun from Dick’s in November. While it was not the gun used, the purchase helped persuade Dick’s to change its policy.
“It was not the gun, nor type of gun, he used in the shooting,” Dick’s said in a letter to customers on Wednesday. “But it could have been.”
Dick’s had stopped selling assault-style rifles at its main stores in 2012 after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The new policy will primarily affect sales online and at its hunting-and-fishing chain, Field & Stream.
Neither Dick’s nor Bass Pro Shops breaks out how much of its business comes from gun sales. But hunting supplies make up a large part of Bass Pro Shops’ and Cabela’s image. Bass Pro Shops, for example, holds NRA Freedom Days, offering discounts to customers who join or renew their National Rifle Association memberships in stores.
Bass Pro Shops bars people under 18 from buying firearms at its stores and online, while customers need to be 21 or older to buy anything other than a rifle or shotgun.
While some customers called for Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s to follow Dick’s lead, others encouraged the retailers to ignore the change.
“Hang tough on this campaign against the sporting rifles,” one person wrote in a comment on Bass Pro Shops’ Facebook page. “The majority of those posting have never nor will ever be your customers.”
“I hope Bass Pro Shops starts selling baseball gear, because we won’t be shopping at DICK’S Sporting Goods anymore,” another said.
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