Making the rounds with the press to support his new book, Ed Stack, Dick’s Sporting Goods’ CEO, is earning wide attention for saying the retailer destroyed more than $5 million worth of assault-style rifles following its decision to stop selling the weapons.
Ed Stack told CBS News during an interview that aired Sunday that the millions of dollars worth of inventory was turned into scrap metal instead of choosing to return them to manufacturers.
“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,'” he told
CBS News’ Lee Cowan.
Dick’s announced it would stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. The shooter killed 17 students and school staff. Dick’s had sold the shooter a weapon although it wasn’t used in the attack.
“We found out that we sold this kid a shotgun,” Stack said. “That’s when I said, ‘We’re done.'”
Dick’s also revamped its firearm sales policy to require a minimum age of 21 for gun purchases. Stack said the moves cost the retailer “about a quarter of a billion” in sales.
The National Rifle Association tweeted an article written by right-wing publication Breitbart and wrote: “Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Ed Stack told CBS News that his company destroyed $5 million worth of “assault-style rifles” to keep them out of private hands.”
The reaction to the NRA tweet was mixed with several saying they’d shop at Dick’s and others against the news.
Twitter user @RevAndyKarlson commented, “Thank you for publicizing this very excellent thing that Dicks has done. I’m proud to support a company that acts with moral conviction.”
@tjomac tweeted, “Exactly why I no longer shop at @DICKS They are deceptive in their terminology, trying to be PC and they made stupid business decisions.”
Earlier this year, Dick’s stopped selling guns and hunting rifles at 125 locations after a 10-store test showed positive results. Stack said the retailer is considering extending pulling guns from all stores.
“So many people say to me, you know, ‘If we do what you want to do, it’s not going to stop these mass shootings,’” Stack told CBS. “And my response is, ‘You’re probably right, it won’t. But if we do these things and it saves one life, don’t you think it’s worth it?’”
Stack’s new book, “It’s How We Play The Game: Build a Business. Take a Stand. Make a Difference,” explores the retailer’s move around gun control. as well as the challenges facing youth sports, entrepreneurialism and leadership.
On CNBC Tuesday morning, Stack was asked whether other CEOs should be taking a stance on gun control. He said, “I think if you see something you think is a problem … and you have expertise in it … you should stand up and say [something].”
Photo courtesy Dick’s Sporting Goods