Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc., the largest U.S. sporting-goods chain, suspended sales of modern sporting rifles nationwide in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, as the massacre’s victims are mourned.
Sales of all guns have been stopped at its store closest to the shooting, the Coraopolis, Pennsylvania-based company said Tuesday in an e-mailed statement.
Dick’s is pulling the products after 26 people -- mostly children -- were killed during Friday's shooting rampage at an elementary school in Newtown. The chain, which has more than 500 stores in the U.S., sells guns and ammunition in stores and not online, according to its website.
“We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week,” the company said in the statement. Dick’s is removing the guns “out of respect for the victims and their families.”
Dick’s representatives didn’t return phone calls or e-mails seeking more information on how long the ban would be in place.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. hasn’t suspended the sales of guns at its stores and doesn’t plan to do so, David Tovar, a spokesman, said in an e-mail. The company doesn’t sell guns on its website, Tovar said. While Wal-Mart removed a description of the Bushmaster rifle reportedly used in the shootings from its website, the company will continue to sell that model, he said.
Part of Wal-Mart’s commitment to gun safety is its involvement in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, Tovar said.
“We remain dedicated to the safe and responsible sale of firearms in areas of the country where they are sold,” he said.
Wal-Mart doesn’t disclose how many guns it sells. The company gave some details during a meeting in November when it said revenue from guns in the first half of this fiscal year had gained 76 percent.
While Dick’s doesn’t provide gun sales either, Chief Executive Officer Edward Stack said in November that the election had made guns and ammunition account for a larger portion of its revenue.
Cabela’s Inc., an outdoor retailer that also sells guns, didn’t return calls seeking comment on whether it planned to change its firearm policies. Hunting equipment, which includes firearms, made up 41 percent of Cabela’s sales in 2011, according to a company filing. The retailer doesn’t provide sales data for just guns.
Dick’s shares rose 1.7 percent to $46.35 in New York Tuesday. Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart rose 0.4 percent to $69.50. Cabela’s, based in Sidney, Nebraska, fell for a third day, ending down 5.9 percent at $38.77.
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