By Kathleen Joyce, ,
Published April 17, 2018
Dick’s Sporting Goods announced on Monday it will destroy all of the unsold firearms it pulled off store shelves in February after the deadly Parkland school shooting.
The sports retailer decided to destroy the assault-style rifles instead of returning them to the manufacturer, the Pittsburgh Post Gazette reported. On Feb. 28, 2018, the Pittsburgh-based company announced it would immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21. It was not immediately clear how many firearms will be destroyed.
“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 from Dick’s Sporting Goods told the media outlet. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
The rifles will be demolished at distribution centers and then delivered to a salvage company to be recycled.
The changes came after the Valentine’s Day shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The accused gunman, Nikolas Cruz, shot and killed 17 students and faculty with an AR-15. Cruz legally purchased the firearm.
“Thoughts and prayers are not enough,” the company said in a statement. “We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens. But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us.”
Following the massacre, shooting survivors called on Congress to pass stricter gun laws. The company previously pulled sporting rifles from its shelves after the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The sporting goods store is currently facing two lawsuits due to the imposed age limit on purchasing firearms.