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Dick's to Remove Guns From 125 Stores this Year, More in Years to Come

• https://freebeacon.com

Dick's Sporting Goods said during an earnings call on Tuesday that it plans to remove firearms and ammunition from 125 of its stores in the coming year and will remove them from more stores over the next few years.

The company said the 10 stores they had removed guns from in the fall had performed up to their expectations and that they now plan to remove guns from 125 of their 858 stores nationwide over the next six months. They said they likely would continue removing guns from the rest of their stores over a period of several years.

"We look at this as a multiyear initiative," Edward W. Stack, Dick's chairman and chief executive officer, told investors during the call. "The 10 stores we were very pleased with, we're expanding it to 120-some stores. We'll see how that goes. If it goes as well as expected, we would probably take another batch of stores next year."

Dick's, one of the nation's largest gun retailers, has, by their own account, alienated many customers and manufacturers within the gun industry over the last few years. Their trouble in the industry began after they announced in response to the Sandy Hook shooting that they would no longer sell certain semiautomatic rifles like the AR-15. Within a year, the company reversed course when it opened the firearms-centric Field and Stream store chain. In the wake of the Parkland shooting, the company reversed themselves again and announced they would not sell AR-15s or similar rifles. In addition, the company instituted a policy of age discrimination aimed at adults between the ages of 18 and 21 and hired lobbyists to advocate for new gun-control legislation.

As a result, Dick's was expelled from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, faced boycotts from customers, and saw their sales of firearms decline.

"As expected, our firearms policy changes impacted our hunt business, which saw an accelerated decline in an already challenged category," Dick's CFO Lee Belitsky told analysts last year. "We expect these businesses to remain under significant pressure throughout the remainder of the year."

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