Well, I guess it isn’t entirely too shocking that Dick’s Sporting Goods would be considering nixing gun sales due to the recent mass shootings. The chain has supported pushes for gun control. It's ended sales of the AR-15 at their locations, including the much smaller Field and Stream chain after the Parkland shooting. Those moves have impacted sales, but the chain has already started to slowly siphon away from gun sales that started in March. So, this move is really par for the course (via CBS Pittsburgh):
Dick’s Sporting Goods considered stopping all gun sales in early 2018. A shooting at the high school in Parkland, Florida, had killed 17 people. And the company was shocked into action.
“We did have a conversation about that,” CEO Ed Stack told CNN Business earlier this year. “At the time we felt it was a part of our DNA and we should stay in it. So many people in the country are law-abiding citizens who use firearms to hunt, to use from a recreation standpoint. We didn’t think it was right to exit the business completely.”
That could be changing. Dick’s, one of the country’s biggest gun retailers, has been quietly testing the water on whether to pull out entirely from what it calls the “hunt” business, including firearms. An announcement with the results of the test is expected Thursday, when it is set to report quarterly results.
America is again debating gun control after a recent wave of shootings — including one on Aug. 3 at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas. The debate has drawn new scrutiny on the legal sale of guns.
When Walmart reported earnings on Aug. 15, CEO Doug McMillon said the company supports stronger gun measures, though he stopped short of endorsing a specific plan.
But Dick’s has been the mainstream retailer to so far make the loudest public statement about firearm sales.
The local outlet did note something that could also impact the decision, and that is the fact that gun sales are declining. FBI Background checks are down 5 percent based on the last year of the Obama administration. The Obama White House and the possibility of a Hillary Clinton presidency boosted sales for fear of an all-out assault on the Second Amendment. The former first lady and now two-time presidential loser had made remarks slamming the landmark Heller decision, calling it a mistake. She did an about-face, but if there’s one thing we know about Hillary—it’s that you cannot trust her or any Democrat when it comes to gun rights.
While Donald Trump winning in a historic upset was great for the country and Second Amendment rights, the sense of fear and urgency has fallen as have sales. That could change in the 2020 cycle, but for now—a pro-gun control sporting goods chain might be nuking its firearms department, which they were already testing prior to the recent tragic shootings in Dayton and El Paso.
UPDATE: They say revenues are up regarding news that they might spit in the faces of their firearms customer base (via The Hill):
Dick's Sporting Goods has reported an increase in its earnings amid a continued push by the company to remove guns from the inventories of some of its stores.
The sports and outdoor retailer reported a sales increase of 3.2 percent nationwide, which the company attributed to solid performances in e-commerce, in-store sales and apparel sales while noting in a revenue report that the company was “continuing the strategic review of its hunt business."
The company reported that net sales for the second quarter of 2019 increased 3.8 percent and consolidated same-store sales increased 3.2 percent, compared to a drop of 4 percent for same-store sales during that quarter last year.