Dick’s Sporting Goods Chairman and CEO Edward Stack, who recently tightened restrictions on firearms sales following the mass school shooting in Parkland, Florida, is calling on Congress to “do their jobs” and act on gun control.
In an op-ed for The Washington Post published Wednesday, Mr. Stack wrote that while he supports the Second Amendment, America’s gun laws “are not squarely focused on keeping all of us safe — especially our children.”
“Some members of Congress are committed to change, but not enough are willing to set aside partisanship to find a solution. I continue to call on lawmakers in both parties to talk with each other with the expressed intent to act,” he wrote. “We understand this is a complex issue and Congress has a number of constituencies with broad agendas. But we hope Congress will take notice of not only what students are saying but also what the private sector is telling it.”
Last month, in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Dick’s raised the minimum age for all gun purchases to 21 and banned the sales of semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity magazines. The company has since posted a deeper-than-expected sales decline, but Mr. Stack said that was to be expected.
“The announcement we made two weeks ago is not going to be positive from a traffic and sales standpoint,” he said last week in an earnings call with Wall Street analysts. “We’ve had some pushback, and we knew that was going to happen.”
In his op-ed, Mr. Stack said gun reform “transcends our company’s bottom line.”
“We suspected that speaking out would have a negative impact on our business. But this was about our values and standing up for what we think is right,” he wrote. “After we announced our new firearms policy, we were gratified that Walmart, Kroger, L.L. Bean and REI showed courage and leadership by announcing their own new policies. We hope others in the private and public sectors join us in this effort.
“A group of us in corporate America have taken a stand, made hard choices and enacted reforms on our own because we firmly believe it’s the right thing to do for our kids and for our country,” he continued. “The kids in Florida and across the nation have taken a stand and been brave enough to make their voices heard.
“The majority of Americans are demanding that members of Congress take a stand and be brave enough to do their jobs,” he concluded.
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