Praise and Criticism After Dick’s Sporting Goods Halts Sale of Assault-Style Rifles

CHARLOTTE, NC – Walmart has announced it will no longer sell guns and ammunition to people under 21 years old.

It comes as Dick’s Sporting Goods decides it will immediately stop sales of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines.

“We were so disturbed and saddened by what happened at Parkland that we said, we need to do something,” said Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack.

The company will also ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21.

It comes after 17 people were killed at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago.

“Everybody talks about thoughts and prayers going out to them, and that’s great, but that doesn’t really do anything,” Stack said.

The decision is receiving praise and criticism. “All of us in the gun business are watching to see where this plays out,” says Hyatt Gun Shop owner Larry Hyatt.

He calls the decision a PR move aimed at mom’s who shop at Dick’s.

“All of us in the gun industry, we feel like it’s just being targeted because it’s sort of a military looking gun. There’s plenty of hunting guns, and duck guns, and hand guns, that could be horribly misused,” Hyatt says.

U.S. Navy veteran William Wilson has a different take.

“I don’t think the average American has any business having a gun in their home that I used to guard a naval base,” Wilson says.

He says it’s hard to tell how someone will react in a frantic situation.

“When you know the bullets are flying for real, or you look into the eyes of a man you know is about to kill you, nothing prepares you for that feel, that shock that goes through your body,” he says.

Hyatt hopes people will take more time to look at facts rather than emotion.

“There’s a lot of proposals going out. We hope we can weather the storm,” he says.