Multiple Gun Manufacturers Sever Ties With Sporting Goods Chain

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Posted: May 09, 2018 5:30 PM
Multiple Gun Manufacturers Sever Ties With Sporting Goods Chain

Last month, Dick's Sporting Goods announced that they hired a lobbyist to advocate for gun control. Now, multiple gun manufacturers have severed ties with the sporting goods company.

Mossberg

Mossberg will no longer accept future orders from Dick's Sporting Goods or Field & Stream, a subsidiary of Dick's. The manufacturer is also reviewing any current contractual obligations they have with Dick's.

“It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control,”  Iver Mossberg, Chief Executive Officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons, said in a statement. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”

Hi-Point 

MKS Supply, the producer of Hi-Point Firearms, also decided to part ways with Dick's Sporting Goods. The company's president, Charles Brown, released the following statement:

Because the right to keep and bear arms was recognized by our founding fathers to be a fundamental right, they ensured its protection under the Second Amendment. Just as we show our commitment to our customers by standing behind their Second Amendment rights.

In recent months, Dick's Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, have shown themselves, in our opinion, to be no friend of Americans' Second Amendment. We believe that refusing to sell long guns to adults under 21, while many young adults in our military are not similarly restricted, is wrong. We believe that villanizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices is wrong. We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens' freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong. Dick's Sporting Goods and Field & Stream, in purportedly doing all of these things, have demonstrated that they do not share our values. 

According to Brown, MKS Supply will not accept future orders from Dick's Sporting Goods or Field & Stream.

Springfield Armory

Last week, Springfield Armory made a similar move and decided to call out Dick's Sporting Goods for their attempted infringement on the Second Amendment. The gun manufacturer posted the following press release to their company Facebook page:

The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The gun manufacturers' move comes after the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) expelled Dick's Sporting Goods from their organization.

The NSSF announced last week that its Board of Directors voted unanimously to rescind Dick's Sporting Goods membership from the trade organization. The decision came because Dick's Sporting Goods made business decisions that are deemed "detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation," the NSSF said in a press release.

The NSSF's decision comes after Dick's Sporting Goods made the following decisions:

• CEO Edward W. Stack announced that the company hired a Washington, D.C.-based government affairs firm to lobby for gun control.
• Ending the sale of modern sporting rifles.
• Destroying the remainder of their modern sporting rifle inventory.
• Requiring rifle purchasers to be 21 years of age, although they only have to be 18 to legally buy.

The Backstory

The saga with Dick's Sporting Goods began back in February when the company announced they would no longer sell sporting rifles to anyone under the age of 21, despite them being lawfully allowed to purchase the firearm. 

At the February, Griffin Mccullar, a Dick's employee quit over the company's decision to cease the sale of AR-15s and "high capacity magazines."

Mccullar shared his resignation letter on Facebook:

Here's what the letter said:

To Dick's Sporting Goods management,

I am putting in my two weeks notice. I greatly apologize as my job here has been great; the staff is phenomenal and very easy to work with, the management is full of great people, and the pay is good. I do not have one bad thing to say about this store. However I cannot be the face of these new gun policies in affect. I find them morally and constitutionally wrong. I refuse to be a part of a corporation with these liberal policies. Again I truly apologize for the inconvenience.

Sincerely, the 20 year old employee, that is an avid hunter, who can no longer purchase firearms from the store in which he is a salesman at the gun counter.

At the beginning of March, 20-year-old Alex Degarmo also shared a photo of his letter of resignation to the sporting goods chain:

Here's what the letter said:

Dick's Sporting Goods,

I am resigning from my position as a Lodge Sales Associate at Dick's Sporting Goods store 1244 effective immediately. I firmly believe that it is morally and constitutionally wrong to infringe upon the rights of law abiding citizens in any way, and I will not work for a company that pushes for the restriction of the Second Amendment. Also I will not take part in the systematic discrimination Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack has arbitrarily decided to implement. I was content with my employment at Dick's Sporting Goods until it was decided that a policy of discrimination would be utilized to bar citizens from purchasing firearms at Dick's Sporting Goods and their subsidiary stores. I am also ending my employment with Dick's Sporting Goods due to the fact that I am being discriminated against, I am twenty years old and therefore barred from purchasing a firearm from a Dick's Sporting Goods store or their their subsidiaries. My coworkers and management at store 1244 were always of the highest standing and quality. I have no complaints about their work ethic or marl standing. It is unfortunate that the CEO Edward Stack decided to alienate a group of individuals throughout our nation, and for that I am resigning.

In April, 20-year-old Tyler Watson of Oregon filed a lawsuit against Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods for refusing to allow him to purchase a rifle because of his age. Watson attempted to by a Ruger 10/22 from Field & Stream, a subsidiary of Dick's Sporting Goods, and was denied because he was not 21. A week later he went to a nearby Walmart and had the same experience.

According to Jim Hargreaves, a retired county judge in Oregon, a person cannot be denied a purchase because of their age if it's readily available to other adults.

“They [sellers] can’t set their own age limit because the statute has already done that,” Hargreaves told Williamette Week. “They don’t have any authority because the statute specifically says you can’t as a merchant discriminate against either young people or old people. If you’re selling something you have to sell it to anyone who is entitled to buy it by law.”

At the end of April, Dick's nailed the coffin in the head by Glover Park Group, a lobbying firm, to lobby for gun control in Washington, D.C.

On May 4th, the National Shooting Sports Foundation's (NSSF) board of director voted unanimously to expel Dick's Sporting Goods for "conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation."

Here's what the NSSF said in a press release:

Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired a Washington D.C.-based government affairs firm, for “[l]obbying related to gun control.” Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward W. Stack announced earlier this year the Field and Stream stores in the retail chain would end sales of modern sporting rifles, voluntarily raise the age to 21 to purchase firearms in their stores and called for more restrictive legislation. Dick’s later announced they would destroy the remaining modern sporting rifle inventory. NSSF responded that business decisions should be individually made, but was nonetheless disappointed and the decision does not reflect the reality of the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners.

Once NSSF officially gave Dick's Sporting Goods the farewell, gun manufacturers began permanently severing ties with the sporting goods chain.

Financial Despair

To make matters worse, the sporting goods chain finds themselves in financial despair, and that was before they took such a strong stand against the Second Amendment.

In February, Dick's had the biggest drop in stock in four months just after their previous quarter's earnings were released, "which reflected struggles with excess inventory and deep discounting," Fortune reported.

On average, the company's stocks fell 7.3 percent to $30.19 in New York, the biggest decline since mid-November. The company had been seeing a steady increase of around 13 percent until the previous quarter's earnings were released at the beginning in March.

The company was expected to make $2.74 billion. What they actually brought in was $2.66 billion.

Two of the things that threatened Dick's Sporting Goods business: Nike was encouraging customers to order directly through them in their retail stores or online. The other is Amazon and their own brand of athletic wear. 

To help counter the decline in sales the company has decided to open 19 stores this year, 8 of which are opening during the spring and early summer. 

Pile on the company's gun control stance and it looks like they're headed for financial ruins.