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Back in February, following the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack announced that his company would no longer sell guns to customers younger than 21 and would stop the sale of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines at the company’s 35 Field & Stream locations.
Now the company is revealing exactly how it will get rid of that inventory: by demolishing the guns.
“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” a spokesperson for Dick’s told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
According to the regulations the Justice Department’s Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives outlines for destroying firearms, weapons must be “cut, severed or mangled in such a manner as to render the firearm completely inoperative and such that it cannot be restored to an operative condition.”
Dick’s will perform these demolitions at its five distribution centers and recycle the parts. The company joins scores of gun owners and enthusiasts who’ve destroyed their weapons or donated them to law enforcement as a response to escalating gun violence in the US.
It’s unclear how many guns the company will destroy — Racked reached out to Dick’s for comment on the matter and did not immediately receive a response — and Dick’s treatment of the guns wouldn’t be all that different from fashion retailers that destroy inventory deemed unsalable.
But many other companies opt to return unsold product back to the manufacturer. Dick’s decision to destroy its guns — and then talk to the media about it — shows that the retailer is looking to further drive a message home: Dick’s is now actively involved in the nation’s roaring debate on gun control and wants customers to know what side it’s on.
When the company pulled assault-style rifles from its stores following the Parkland shooting, Stack wrote in his announcement that “thoughts and prayers are not enough” and that his company felt a moral responsibility to do something.
“Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids,” he wrote. “We believe it’s time to do something about it.”