1. Commerce
March 1, 2018

These are the US retailers that have jumped before they’re pushed on gun control

By Shoshana Kedem

As children return to class after last month’s Florida school shooting that left 17 dead, US retailers are distancing themselves from firearms.

The world’s largest brick-and-mortar retailer Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods have announced they will no longer sell the AR15 model used in the shooting or any other military rifles and set the age limit for gun customers at 21.

Supermarket chain Kroger will also raise the minimum age to purchase arms and ammunition in all of its Fred Meyer stores.

Meanwhile, firms including car rental Hertz and airlines United and Delta have both announced they are ending discounts for US gun lobby National Rifle Association (NRA) members.

Dick’s yesterday tweeted it had taken assault rifles off its shelves, and would no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 year of age.

It said:

We will no longer sell assault style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all Dick’s stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.

We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children. They are our future. We must keep them safe.

It added it had also stopped selling high impact bullet magazines and “never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly”.

In another tweet Dick’s said:

At the same time, we implore our elected officials to enact common sense gun reform and pass the following regulations.

Dick’s also called on the US government to ban assault-style rifles, high-impact bullets, and bump stocks and impose age restrictions and mental health checks on those wishing to purchase and firearms.

It also said the government should close loopholes in the law that allow blacklisted buyers to purchase guns at gun shows without any background checks.

The company wants the federal government to create a database of those banned from buying firearms.

Meanwhile, Walmart promised to take seriously its “obligation to be a responsible seller of firearms”.

Walmart is also taking items resembling assault-style rifles, including toys and air guns, off its shelves. Walmart stopped selling high-powered rifles in 2015, citing low demand.

The shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida purchased a shotgun at a Dick’s store in November, but didn’t use it during the shooting, Dick’s Edward Stack said in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America.

US law makers are currently wrestling with gun control legislation in Washington, with Republicans and Democrats divided on how strict new rules should be.

Trump stunned the US yesterday by calling for a “strong” reform bill in a sharp departure for his anti-gun control stance.

He said:

I want you to come up with a strong bill – and really strong on background checks.

Trump said he would “give very serious thought” to proposed legislation on raising age restrictions on at least some firearms.

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