SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–As Parkland High School students returned to class today, Dick’s Sporting Goods made a big announcement.
The major gun retailer will no longer sell military-style riles like the AR-15.
Of all the places that KOLR10 called for a response, Cherokee Firearms was the only gun shop in town that would talk to us. Despite Dick’s making the decision to no longer sell the weapons, it will be business as usual for them.
“When you look at those kids and their parents and the grief that everyone’s going through and we don’t want to be a part of this story any longer,” says Edward Stack, CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods.
As a result, Stack announced that the company will stop selling assault-style weapons. A decision that became obvious in the days following the Parkland High School massacre.
“We actually sold the shooter a shotgun in November of last year and when we looked at that and found out that we did this, we had a pit in our stomach,” says Stack.
While some might say what Dick’s Sporting Goods is doing is a step in the right direction toward gun control, others like Nick Newman-owner of Cherokee Firearms will continue to sell assault-style weapons.
“We don’t normally look to other companies to make a determination on what’s best for our clients or what’s best for us financially so I mean that is a market segment that we address here and have no intention in changing it at this time,” says Newman.
One of the reasons why is because Newman says it’s not the guns that are the problem, it’s people.
“There’s talk about fixing the background check system, which would make it more inclusive and records would have to be disclosed that would come up with more people in the prohibitive class and that might decline us some sales. Wouldn’t bother me a bit cause if those people shouldn’t own a rifle or a pistol, I don’t want to sell it to them anyway,” says Newman.
Gun owner, Paula Kraeger agrees that we need tougher background checks to purchase guns, but disagrees on the access to assault-style weapons at some Springfield gun shops.
“As far as the big automatic rifles, they should be taken off the shelves. I don’t think they should be allowed to buy them. I think they need to stop selling them,” says Kraeger.
“I feel like if you want one, you should be able to buy one, but at the same time, the biggest thing is the stringency on the ability to get one. A 10 questionnaire is not enough of a background check to own any kind of a firearm,” says Joe Miller, a man for tougher background checks.