More outdoors retailers joining the 'sea of change' over guns


L.L. Bean announced its policy change yesterday in response to a tweet from a customer asking the retailer to stop selling guns to people under 21 years old.

It follows Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart and others to make the move following the recent attack at a Florida high school.

Dick's released a statement on February 28 announcing it will no longer be selling assault-style rifles in its stores as well as banning anyone under 21 from purchasing a firearm and ammunition. Diversified Investment Strategies LLC now owns 126,025 shares of the sporting goods retailer's stock worth $3,622,000 after purchasing an additional 3,400 shares during the last quarter.

J.C. Penney said that it has eliminated about 360 jobs at its headquarters and at stores throughout the country.

The company, which previously had an age-limit of 18, said it had stopped selling "modern sporting rifles including the AR-15" in 2015 and now only sells handguns in Alaska. The teenage gunman used an AR-15 rifle.

A number of major USA corporations including MetLife, Hertz, Delta Airlines and First National Bank of Omaha, one of the nation's largest privately held banks, cut ties with the NRA in the days following the Parkland shooting.

Dick's Sporting Goods also changed its weapons policy this week, announcing that it will no longer sell assault-style weapons to anyone in its stores.

Sporting goods chain Bass Pro Shops, which owns Cabela's, didn't respond to requests for comment.

As police sort out details of a deadly shooting on Central Michigan University's campus, businesses nationally are becoming increasingly vocal about their social responsibility, specifically, what should be done about guns - and what actions they can take to stop gun-related deaths.

"REI does not sell guns". CEO James Debney said on a conference call.

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Davis said numerous Master's of Business Administration students at U-M now think of business as a way to have an impact on society to improve people's well-being and solve big problems in the nation and world.

"Our heritage as a company always has been in serving sportsmen and hunters, and we will continue to do so in a responsible way", it said.

One industry analyst said after the announcement from Dick's, and strong words from its CEO about the need for change, that other retailers that devote a small percentage of their business to hunting will probably follow suit.

"The longer-term positive perception that they create a more welcoming environment will offset any lost sales in the year", Feldman said.

"I could understand why people think it's a good thing but a question I have is how do we justify a young solider coming back from Iraq or Afghanistan who is 19 or 20, who has been fighting for our lives, and then being told they can't buy a gun?"

Walmart made a similar announcement later Wednesday, saying it would restrict customers under 21 from buying guns.

"I firmly believe that it is morally and constitutionally wrong to infringe upon the rights of a law abiding citizen in any way, and I will not work for a company that pushes for the restriction of the Second Amendment", Degarmo wrote.

"I was sad to hear they would pull them off and bow to these people that have no understanding of what a gun is", said Gerald Jaeger, outside a Dick's in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Platt said she now plans to start buying more at her local Dick's store, including a pair of sneakers this week. Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead.