The NRA lashed out at Dick’s Sporting Goods after the retailer announced its plans to destroy the assault-style rifles and accessories it agreed to take off its shelves in February instead of returning them to manufacturers.
“@DICKS decision isn’t focusing on the actual problem, what it is doing is punishing law-abiding citizens. What a waste, and what a strange business model,” reads a message on the NRA’s official Twitter account.
Many on Twitter praised Dick’s for its decision.
“Dicks is reflecting what its customers are saying and what the rest of America is now saying,” wrote one user. “Nobody needs an assault style rifle.”
“The will of the people does, and the vast majority of people want your stupid little boy AR-15 shooty toys destroyed,” wrote another. “Get a different hobby.”
Still another: “Actually they are focusing on the issue & they are doing what they can to remove these rifles… YOU care more about guns than the lives lost.”
“I think @DICKS has gotten it exactly right,” wrote Dave Hogg (no relation to David Hogg, the gun rights advocate.”
Others praised the NRA, and slammed the retailer.
“There are more gun owners than loudmouth liberal crybabies,” wrote one user.
“I sincerely hope all the gun haters remember they ever get American citizens disarmed, which is doubtful in the near term, all that homicide and crime in Mexico, Brazil and Latin America, will move north,” wrote another.
John Feinblatt, the president of Everytown for Gun Safety, praised Dick’s for its decision.
“It’s a very good barometer of where the public stands,” he said. “Corporations tend to reflect their customers.”
He continued: “The message you are getting is that the gun lobby does not represent where the public stands on this issue. The N.R.A. does not represent mainstream America.”
In February, shortly after Nikolas Cruz gunned down 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell assault rifles, high capacity magazines or bump stocks, and would prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a firearm.
The same day Dick’s Sporting Goods made its announcement, Walmart announced will stop selling guns and ammunition to anyone under 21.
Other companies have also weighed in.
Bank of America announced it will stop lending money to manufacturers of military-style guns sold for civilian use, Vice Chairman Anne Finucane said yesterday.
“We want to contribute in any way we can to reduce these mass shootings,” she said, adding that the bank works with “just a handful of manufacturers,” with whom it has had “intense conversations over the last few months.” Bank of America does not intend “to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use,” Finucane said, noting that reactions to the new policy have been “mixed.”
Although Bank of America would not name any of the gun manufacturers it works with, its clients include such brands as the American Outdoor Brands Corporation (which owns the Smith & Wesson brand), Remington (which last month filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection), and Sturm Ruger & Company.
“These are clients we have enjoyed a relationship with,” Finucane said. “There are those I think will reduce their portfolios and we’ll work with them and others that will choose to do something else.”
Finucane stressed that Bank of America will continue to offer banking services to firearms retailers. Asking gun retailers to not sell certain types of handguns or long guns “gets into civil liberties” and is “a ways off,” she said.
The announcement comes after the bank, which is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, disclosed in February that it was reaching out to clients that manufacture assault weapons for non-military use “to understand what they can contribute to this shared responsibility.”