Retailers start to pull some rifles from shelves

Dick's Sporting Goods and Wal-Mart suspend some gun sales after last week's shooting in Connecticut.

By Kim Peterson Dec 18, 2012 11:03AM
Credit: Seth Perlman/AP
Caption: Steve Swartz, owner of Capitol City Arms Supply, shows off some of the rifles for sale in Springfield, Ill.,While politicians go back and forth about the future of gun control, some retailers are already making a statement and pulling assault weapons from their stores.

Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) has suspended sales of its modern rifles nationwide. It's also taken all of the guns off the shelves at its store near Newtown, Conn., where a 20-year-old gunman opened fire at an elementary school last week, killing 20 children and six educators.

The company said it took those actions out of respect for the victims and their families in this time of national mourning.

The gunman, Adam Lanza, used one of the Bushmaster AR-15 guns in his deadly rampage. A semi-automatic version of the weapon is popular for civilian sporting use, The Dallas Morning News reports. The large retailers selling assault weapons include Dick's, Cabela's (CAB) and Wal-Mart (WMT).

Wal-Mart has stopped showing the Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine M4A3 rifle on its website as well, according to The Nation. There is no word whether Wal-Mart will stop selling the weapon at its stores, however. But Wal-Mart's site still shows that it's selling other guns at its stores, including the Sig Sauer M400.

Cabela's meanwhile, has stocked up on guns and ammunition heading into the fourth quarter -- largely a bet on surging gun sales after the presidential election. Here's what CEO Thomas Millner said in October, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle:

"At least coming in to the fourth quarter, we’ve taken a pretty aggressive position in inventory commitment to both guns and ammunition. So that’s a starting point. Clearly, if the president’s re-elected, I would expect some surge beyond the current levels, which are really good. And if Gov. Romney is elected ... I still think we’re gonna see gun growth next year. It probably won’t be at the same pace. ... So it’s probably a difference of degrees as we sit here today, but we’re doing a lot of stuff in our stores to make sure we are the easiest, fastest place to shop for your firearms purchases."

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