Sales clerks at Dick's Sporting Goods stores across the West Coast tell WW tonight that the nationwide retail chain has stopped selling semi-automatic rifles in the wake of the mass shootings in Connecticut and Oregon last week.
The company, based in Pennsylvania, has not put out any formal statement about ending sales of AR-15 style rifles. It is uncertain if the policy change will affect all of its 511 stores. WW has asked Dick's for comment but has not received a response.But WW called a total of five Dick's stores in Oregon, Washington, California and Idaho, and asked if it was possible to buy AR-15 style guns. Sales clerks said that the stores either no longer carried the rifles or had suspended sales.
"Unfortunately, we are no longer carrying those," said a Dick's sales associate in Washington state. Asked when the store discontinued sales of guns like the Bushmaster .223, he replied: "Honestly, about three hours ago."
A sales associate at another location said his store had been told by corporate headquarters that the chain would end sales of all semi-automatic rifles upon closing tonight.
"You come in tomorrow morning and try to buy one," he said, "and you won't be able to."
AR-15 style semi-automatic rifles have been at the center of a political firestorm since they were used last week in the killing sprees at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school and Clackamas Town Center mall in Oregon.
Two people died in Oregon. The shooter in Connecticut killed 27 people, including 20 children.Dick's has more than 500 stores nationwide.