By: Robert Davis

Dick’s Sporting Goods says the company is in the process of destroying all guns and accessories the retailer pulled from the shelves in February and stopped selling.

“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” a Dick’s Sporting Goods spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”

Dick’s announced in February it would stop selling “assault-style” weapons like the one used during the shooting in Parkland, Florida. The company also raised its minimum age to purchase weapons to 21, sparking backlash.

The company currently faces two age discrimination lawsuits. An 18-year-old Michigan man sued Dick’s in Oakland County Circuit Court on March 6, claiming that Dick’s policy violates Michigan law, which allows anyone 18 years of age or older to buy a firearm, unless otherwise legally prohibited.

A 20-year-old Oregon man also sued the company, along with Walmart, after a salesperson declined to sell him a gun.

Typically, a retailer may return unsold merchandise. But in this case, Dick’s decided to destroy the firearms at the company’s distribution centers and send some parts to a salvage company for recycling.

Following the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Dick’s pulled sporting rifles from its namesake stores nationwide. It later reintroduced the product when its specialty Field & Stream stores opened in 2013.

Dudley Brown, National Association for Gun Rights president, says Dick’s actions won’t affect the gun industry in the way the chain intends.

“Dick’s resolve to try to keep guns out of the hands of Second Amendment-loving, law-abiding citizens will prove to be as ineffective as it is absurd,” Brown said. “If the pro-gun population of America was not properly outraged by Dick’s discriminatory policies before, they certainly will be now that the company is destroying beautifully crafted firearms and accessories. But hey, if Dick’s wants to pay for guns and not sell them, that means more money for the gun manufacturers, and a monetary loss – not to mention PR disaster – for Dick’s. Go for it.”
Dick’s declined to comment on this story.

Robert Davis is a journalist from Colorado. He covers defensive gun use and Second Amendment policy for Gunpowder Magazine. Contact him at [email protected].

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