Dick’s Sporting Goods (NYSE: DKS) has destroyed about $5 million worth of assault rifles after deciding not to sell them or return them to manufacturers. The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ed Stack, said that the company turned the guns into scrap metal. He gave no further information about when or how the merchandise was destroyed.
Dick’s Sporting Goods is a retail behemoth based in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1948, the company now has 850 stores across the country with an estimated 30,000 employees. Stack said that guns have been removed from more than 100 Dick’s Sporting Goods stores and that he is considering extending this ban in all of the stores.
Stack shared how he came to the decision in his book, “It’s How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference.” Stack said that his mind changed when mass shootings began to happen more frequently. During that time period, a number of merchants set more rigorous rules on firearm sales.
After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newton, Conn., Stack had AR-15 semi-automatic rifles removed from all the stores across the country. Stack made even stricter changes to the gun selling policy after the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Fla. After it emerged that the teenage shooter had purchased a shotgun at a Dick’s Sporting Goods store, Stack decided that the company would no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21.
Stack said that the company had received some backlash over his decisions. He estimated that the 21-and-over policy alone had cost the company an estimated quarter-billion dollars.