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Retailer pulls $5 million worth of assault rifles, turns them ‘into scrap,’ CEO says

When Ed Stack, CEO of the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain, found out his company sold a gun to the Parkland, Florida, school shooter, he decided he was done being in business of selling assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, he said on CBS Sunday Morning.

Stack did not just pull assault rifles from shelves at his more than 700 stores — he destroyed the entire inventory and turned it into scrap metal, he writes in his new book, CNBC reports.

The company could have resold the guns to another retailer or returned them to the manufacturer, but it didn’t, Stack said, according to CBS. “I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,’” Stack told CBS.

Stack’s new book, It’s How We Play the Game, traces his life and the growth of the company he took over from his father. It came out Tuesday. In it, he details his growing stance against guns as the CEO of one of the United States’ biggest sporting goods retailers, according to Amazon’s book summary.

According to the summary, “DICK’s support for embattled youth sports programs earned the stores surprising loyalty, and Ed was vocal in sounding the alarm about schools’ underfunding not just of sports but of other extracurriculars, which earned DICK’s even more respect.

“Ed’s toughest business decision came in the wake of yet another school shooting; this one at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in 2018. The senseless loss of life devastated Ed on many levels and he decided to take action,” the summary states.

Dick’s pulled all semi-automatic weapons from its stores and raised the age to buy guns from 18 to 21, CNBC reports.

Stack told CBS that the move to restrict gun sales cost the company about a quarter billion dollars.

Stack has told multiple outlets that the company’s entire hunting division is under “strategic review.”

In the CBS interview, he left open the possibility that Dick’s could stop selling guns completely in the future.

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Charles Duncan covers what’s happening right now across North and South Carolina, from breaking news to fun or interesting stories from across the region. He holds degrees from N.C. State University and Duke and lives two blocks from the ocean in Myrtle Beach.