Dick's Sporting Goods' assault-rifles ban was reportedly spurred by a meeting with nuns

Bryn Lennon / Getty ImagesA group of nuns says it played a key part in getting Dick’s Sporting Goods to drop assault-style guns.
  • Dick’s Sporting Goods has stopped selling assault-style rifles.
  • The company says it made the change in response to the Florida school shooting that killed 17 students and staff members.
  • But a group of nuns says it played a key part in getting the retailer to drop assault guns.

Dick’s Sporting Goods said Wednesday that it would stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines in its stores.

The company said it made the decision in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members.

A group of nuns now says it played a key part in the policy change, through a conversation it had with the retailer in January, CNBC reported.

The conversation involved Sister Valerie Heinonen of Mercy Investment Services, a St. Louis-based money manager for the Catholic women’s group Sisters of Mercy, and executives at Dick’s, according to CNBC. Heinonen told the site that she tried to persuade Dick’s, on behalf of Mercy Investments, to stop selling assault-style weapons.

The meeting was held after Mercy Investments filed a shareholder proposal in December calling on the chain to reassess the range of guns it sells.

The investment firm agreed to withdraw its proposal in February, saying it had achieved its goal with Dick’s. But the decision by Dick’s on Wednesday still came as a surprise to Heinonen.

“We didn’t know that they would follow through to this extent,” she told CNBC.

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