After Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart denied a 20-year-old a rifle, the young man is now suing the companies.
Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack said his company destroyed $5 million worth of assault rifles as part of its tough stance on guns.
In his new book and in an interview with “CBS News Sunday,” Stack shared how the company turned the guns into scrap metal.
“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, then we need to destroy them,'” Stack told CBS News.
In his book, “It’s How We Play the Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference,” which goes on sale Tuesday, Stack wrote that rather than returning the firearms banned by the company to manufacturers, the chain “sawed $5 million worth of rifles into scrap.”
Stack is scheduled to be on CNBC’s “Squawk Alley” on Tuesday.
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The National Rifle Association tweeted an article written by right-wing publication Breitbart and wrote: “Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack told CBS News that his company destroyed $5 million worth of “assault-style rifles” to keep them out of private hands.”
The reaction to the NRA tweet was mixed with several saying they’d shop at Dick’s and others against the news.
“Thank you for publicizing this very excellent thing that Dicks has done,” Twitter user @RevAndyKarlson commented. “I’m proud to support a company that acts with moral conviction.”
“Exactly why I no longer shop at @DICKS,” Twitter user @tjomac wrote. “They are deceptive in their terminology, trying to be PC and they made stupid business decisions.”
In his CBS interview, Stack said after the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, he removed the AR-15 from his chain of 720 stores.
“All we were going to do was just take it off the shelf and not say anything,” Stack said. “We thought we’d get a little bit of a backlash, but we didn’t expect to get what we got.”
After the Parkland school shooting in Florida left 17 dead in February 2018, Dick’s pulled high-capacity magazines from stores and halted the sale of firearms to anyone under 21.
“We found out we sold this kid a shotgun and I said, ‘We’re done,’” Stack said on CBS of the then-19-year-old alleged shooter. “Even though that’s not the gun he used, it could have been.”
Contributing: Jeff Platsky, Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin; Kristin Lam, USA TODAY
Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko
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