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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Tags: Guns
1572Comments
Dec 20, 2012 4:09PM
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While many gun owners would have no problem with lower capacity magazines, trigger locks/gun safes and requiring background checks even for sales between private individuals (all dealer sales require the background check) - the idea that banning a particular type of rifle because it resembles a military weapon (black with a pistol grip) - but doesn't offer fully automatic/select fire (machine gun) and is a lower caliber (bullet size) than many hunting rifles - is not going to solve the problem of evil/deranged people killing others.

Read your history. Sadly massive savagery has been going on long before the advent of assault rifles (Genghis Kahn is notorious example).

A couple things to consider:

1) You'll never be able to round-up all the guns that gun control advocates dislike (If we can't find 12 million illegal immigrants, how do we expect to find the estimated 300 million guns in America - many locked away in homes and gun safes)?

2) Even if you could snap your fingers and magically eliminate all guns, would you really want that? Guns are used for good and evil. It was the advent of guns - a great equalizing force - that led to the end of serfdom and despotic rule by warlords. Once the general population had the ability to stop the brutes/savages from pillaging, robbing, raping and killing at will - the life of the average person improved greatly. They experienced hope and freedom.

3) Gun laws deprive law-abiding citizens of guns - but criminals ignore them. Take a look at Chicago and Washington DC - both of which have the biggest gun crime problem in the country - but banned handguns for decades. Gun crime grew under the gun bans because criminals ignored the bans and knew they were very unlikely to meet armed resistance from law-abiding victims. Concealed carry with proper training/licensing has actually reduced gun violence where it is allowed and even conveys benefits to those who don't carry - because the bad guys never know if their victim will be armed.

4) The Founding Fathers clearly believed armed citizens were vital to protecting against aggressors "both domestic and foreign". It's pretty clear one of their biggest fears - having experienced it in England - was government overreach. During WWII Japan considered an invasion of the U.S. but decided against it when their Admiral Yamamoto - who had spent time in the U.S. - warned that they would face "... a gun behind every blade of grass".
While rifles can do nothing against missiles in this day/age - should any corrupt power (domestic or foreign) ever consider imposing military/dictatorial law on Americans, they would face the same threat that warded off Japan 70 years ago and might similarly reconsider.

Bottom line, any additional gun control legislation must be carefully considered and not an (understandable) "knee-jerk" reaction to the terrible and unfathomable tragedy in Connecticut. For each proposed law we must ask "Would it have stopped the tragedy?" and "Does the proposed restriction demonstrably degrade the protections given to us by the Founding Fathers via the Constitution and Bill Of Rights?"

While we're at it we should also ask ourselves if it's really wise to expose our kids to all the numbing violence found in many video games, TV shows and movies. Unfortunately, I'm betting many of those wishing to restrict gun rights would be appalled at the idea of government infringing on their entertainment choices.
Dec 20, 2012 4:08PM
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Illegal sales of guns will rise....thanks...now I will have to go find some too...at least they can not track them to me now I guess...Just hope i dont buy one that has been use in illegal situations.But since i wont be able to buy them legally it doesnt matter right.

Dec 20, 2012 4:08PM
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Violence goes as far back as when Cain killed Abel.  I'm not sure what weapon it was that he (Cain) used killed him with but the point is.....The reason he did so still exists today.  It wasn't about the weapon then and shouldn't be today.  There are many reasons why this happened and keeps happening.  We can pass laws that make owning any kind of gun in this country illegal IF you changed to U.S. Constitution....But I don't think anyone will ever be stupid enough to try that.  But hypothecially, IF that ever happened, do you honestly think all guns would disappear and all criminals (and those wanting to cause harm) would say OK.....Here are all my guns.  A good dose of reality check is needed.
Dec 20, 2012 4:08PM
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How stupid is that.  Knee-jerk nation. 
Dec 20, 2012 4:08PM
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Well, I quit shopping at Wal Mart, will add Dicks to the list as well.
Dec 20, 2012 4:08PM
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i had read twice now that the assault rifle was found in the car and never made into the school
Dec 20, 2012 4:07PM
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To penalize the law abiding citizens for the act of one nut is ridiculus. The knee jerk reaction by the elected officials is scary. They have, by their threats to restrict guns and ammo, has convinced me, along with thousands of others who never even thought of buying a gun, to go out and get one now. How about limiting the size of the magazines, lengthen the waiting period so that a real back round check can be done. Hold to hose who cannot secure their guns properly accountable......

Government reaction scares the hell out of me. As tragic as this incident is, we still forget that those nut jobbers always seem to get the weapon they need one way or another. NO EASY ANSWER.

 

Dec 20, 2012 4:07PM
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if guns are outlawed..only outlaws will have guns!
Dec 20, 2012 4:07PM
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Do leave me unarmed to the mercy of the insane!
Dec 20, 2012 4:07PM
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For those who write blaming the suggested gun reform laws on this single incident, I will remind you that there are senseless killings every hour of every day, and gun violence is something that many communities have almost "learned to live with". I'm an advocate for an individual's freedoms to do about anything they want to do within reason, but even I think that some tougher laws would prevent many deaths each year.
Dec 20, 2012 4:07PM
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@Dfpotec: of course you wont eliminate mass murder, that's not the point. Its big companies, doing their small part to try and do SOME good, however small it may be.... Its a gesture, a statement, and a step in the right direction. They aren't trying to eliminate it completely with this decision, you're missing the point.

 

When I first read this I didn't understand the logic, but i had someone explain a theory... if these stores stop selling automatic weapons, and only sell single ammo, etc, then that's less people who MAY get their hands on that sort of weapon to do large amounts of damage. And of course they can go elsewhere to get it, but maybe the decision to stop selling such weapons to the public will catch on... who knows.

And yes, they can find other ways to do mass destruction, but the point is to make it HARDER, not EASIER for them to do so. Stop being negative and embrace the POSITIVE gestures that are coming from this awful situation....

Dec 20, 2012 4:06PM
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I'll never purcahse a thing from Dick's Sporting Goods again!
Dec 20, 2012 4:06PM
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I sympathize to all the families, friends, and all those affected which I'm sure is most, I was, with the tragedy that happened in Newtown, CT. I agree with many of the other posts that guns are a tool to these unfortunate tragedies and that removal of them is not a solution and all the law abiding citizens are going to take a hit on these up coming knee jerk reactions the government will try to enact. There needs to ways to isolate these at risk individuals, but I live in reality and I know that there will always be acts of violence that will slip through the cracks undetected.   
Dec 20, 2012 4:06PM
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Everyone is wrapped in grief as to be expected, but at the very beginning we need to ask the hard question, how did this disgusting criminal get ahold of these weapons? The mother (and first victim) of the killer had these weapons in her possesion. It absolutely boggles the mind with what we know now, that a person would keep those kinds of weapons accessable to a person who is obviously sick, menal illness and guns are a toxic combination that can lead to disasters like we have seen. Im curious to know in what manner those weapons were stored and how easy it was for that sick SOB to get to them.
Dec 20, 2012 4:06PM
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We can't just take away the toys of millions of self-centered, selfish, "I got mine" American patriots!!! Heck those people earned the right to bear arms, any kind of arms, the day they were born a read-blooded American, natural hero. How unjust! How unfair! It's their right and one that they earned through hard work and faithful dues paying to the NRA.

 

Ain't life a bear!!! Guess they can ignore the pictures of those innocent kids and their teachers?

 

I wish these gun activists would get together at a national rallye or meet and have a championship where they get a chance to use their guns in some sort of combat game. Of course we could let them use their 30 round clips and live ammo to play! They are a bunch of selfish idiots in my book!!

Dec 20, 2012 4:05PM
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It is nice to see a store to show they care about something more then making a $1. I find that this is a nice way to show respect. America needs more of this.
There are so many hateful, mean, rude people in our world, I cant help but wonder Why go after the young children who are so innocent, sweet forgiving, loving. They have not hurt anyone.
Gosh if you are made at the world go after the bad, the mean. not the harmless little sunshine of the world.

Dec 20, 2012 4:05PM
Dec 20, 2012 4:04PM
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All they are doing is taking guns away from the good guys....the bad guys will always get the guns so prepare for even worse killings since we wont have guns to defend. And yes ...we will say TOLD YOU SO.
Dec 20, 2012 4:04PM
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I am not a gun owner, so for those who are: can you please explain to me why the gun lobby is so against stricter licencing regulations for gun ownership? Why aren't background checks ALWAYS done before someone can buy a gun? Why are people opposed to waiting periods? If someone says they need a gun RIGHT NOW, without a waiting period or background check, shouldn't that send up big red flags? If I need to have proper training before driving a car, and to demonstrate competence by taking a test and getting a drivers license, why is it so outrageous to ask the same before someone can purchase a gun? This would not necessarily decrease the number of guns or limit their availability to law-abiding citizens, but may help reduce the chances of those weapons getting into the wrong or irresponsible hands. This should also simplify the task of tracking stolen weapons. This, to me, is gun CONTROL...not to be confused with revoking anyone's right to own a gun, or with the desire to outlaw guns altogether. What is the problem with a little control over who gets a gun and how quickly they can get it? Please, I'm not trying to antagonize here, I really would like to understand the anti-gun control position.
Dec 20, 2012 4:04PM
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And what about the mental health issues in this country???

Why isn't anyone addressing this topic????

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