Hunters in some parts of the country will soon have to go to other stores to buy firearms after Dick’s Sporting Goods announced a sweeping change in more than half of its stores.
On Tuesday, the sporting goods retailer announced that it would “remove hunt from approximately 440 additional DICK’S Sporting Goods stores.” The step comes as the company released its fourth-quarter earnings, which showed its sales were up 5.3%, beating expectations.
After the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s announced that it would remove high capacity magazines and raise the age to purchase guns to 21.
It also said it would stop selling semi-automatic rifles in all of its Dick’s stores and its Field & Stream locations.
In the fall of 2018, the company pulled guns from 10 stores as a test run. In 2019, the company announced it would remove guns and ammunition from 125 stores. The latest move means that roughly 80% of its 720 stores will no longer sell guns.
Despite an initial drop in earnings in the wake of the company’s initial decision, sales have rebounded, and Dick’s has now been focusing more on its athletics department.
In a March 2019 earnings call, Ed Stack — the chairman and CEO of Dick’s — said the decision to remove guns and hunting accessories from stores was about “having productive space.”
“There is some places that the hunt business is very good, other places that it’s not very good. And we’re just allocating floor space to make our [products] more productive,” Stack said.
Late last year, Stack disclosed that his company had destroyed over $5 million worth of guns to make sure they didn’t go back into the market and be used in future shootings.