Austin-area gun stores react to Dick's Sporting Goods new gun policy

In a letter posted to social media on Wednesday, Dick's Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack wrote the company is deeply disturbed by what happened in Parkland. Stack says they have respect and admiration for students organizing and speaking out against gun violence.

From here on out, the company won't sell firearms to anyone under 21. While Stack says they support and respect the second amendment, they won't sell quote "assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles."

"They know that they're not assault weapons. They know they're AR's Armalite Rifles, so to use that word tells me that they're really not a lover of the second amendment," said Michael Cargill, owner of Central Texas Gunworks.

Both Cargill and Steve Ou with Cedar Park's "Guns Warehouse" are ready to welcome customers wanting to buy guns like the AR-15.

"In an economic free market, we're probably going to see other dealers like us and other ones step up and offer those same items to other people who want to buy them," Ou said.

In Steve Ou's view there's no evidence to support the reasoning behind Dick's new policy. "The numbers aren't there. What this is is probably a marketing move, a public relations move," Ou said.

Cargill points out the semi-automatic weapons civilians can buy, you pull the trigger each time you want a bullet to leave the gun.

"In order for you to get an automatic in the U.S., you have to go...get a tax stamp, pay a $200 tax stamp fee, get another background check, take your photo, fingerprints, and be approved by the ATF in order to get those things. That's something that's going to be totally different," Cargill said.

Aside from what Dick's Sporting Goods is doing in their own stores, the company is also pushing lawmakers to do the same and more. Ban "assault-style firearms" raise the purchasing age to 21...along with universal background checks and a database of people who are not allowed to buy guns.

"There are no more new laws that we can put on the books that would have stopped this monster from doing what he did. He could have used something else," Cargill said.

"In the sense of having stricter mental health background checks, I think that's a great idea! I don't think anyone has disputed having stronger mental health background checks," Ou said.

Ed Scruggs with Texas Gun Sense says the new policy "...illustrates that business is recognizing the damage mass gun violence is inflicting on our society. Business seems capable of taking action, while our elected officials can seem incapable of doing anything other than argue over ideology."

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