Dick’s Sporting Goods apparently has ended its no-AR-15s policy, but so far only at a spinoff store.
Field & Stream, a new outdoors store which is a spinoff from Dick’s, is selling AR-15 semi-automatic rifles at a new Pennsylvania store. The popular sporting goods company pulled all of the rifles from its shelves after the Newtown, Conn., shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary last December.
After the horrific shooting, gun control advocates pushed for all “military assault style” weapons to be banned. That spawned months of Second Amendment debates, state and federal legislation proposals, and an ammo shortage.
After the Sandy Hook tragedy, Dick’s released a statement saying, “Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.”
The company has not yet responded to media questions about AR-15 sales.
Dick’s Sporting Goods spinoff store is the first of at least two planned openings this year. The focus of the store will be hunting and fishing gear. The AR-15 is a popular hunting and target shooting rifle due to both its lightweight nature and extreme accuracy. The semi-automatic rifle is very popular with both men and women.
Adam Lanza used a Bushmaster AR-15, which belonged to his mother, in the bloody and heart-wrenching rampage at the local elementary school.
After the Newtown school shooting, sales of AR-15s soared nationwide, some retailers reportedly selling the rifles for double the original sticker price. Customers fearful that the guns and high-capacity magazines would be banned bought all the rifles on store shelves and created an order backlog.
Gun owners insist that removing AR-15s from the shelves or banning high-capacity magazines would not have stopped the tragic school shooting from occurring or prevented a similar event.
As Indiana Boone County Sheriff Ken Campbell demonstrated in a video that went viral, any size magazine can be emptied and reloaded (by any level of shooter) quickly. Thus, a villain with several five- or 10-capacity magazines can still kill a multitude of people in a short amount of time.
Capping magazine sizes would not save lives, Campbell said.
“I think it’s a great fallacy to believe that it would,” he said. “You’ve got a standard capacity versus a 10 round. From a citizen standpoint…all we’re doing is making it more difficult for [people] to defend themselves against bad guys. … By limiting the access to standard magazines…I think you are restricting a good American’s opportunity to protect himself and his family.”
Campbell says in the video, “One of the reasons that the magazine restrictions are being proposed is the perception that if the active shooter has fewer bullets in magazines he will have to reload sooner and this will create an opportunity for someone to tackle him during the reload.
The video shows the fallacy of new gun control proposals, which are aimed mostly at high-capacity firearms and not pistols. In the video, a pistol shooter fires a few rounds, after which a man, crouched about 25 feet away, runs toward the shooter. But in each instance, the shooter is able to reload before the man arrives, demonstrating that bans on high-capacity magazines would not save lives, Campbell says.
Let us know what you think. Should AR-15s be banned or sold?