Industry response was swift after documents filed on April 27 with the Clerk of the House Representatives and Secretary of the Senate surfaced that showed Dick’s Sporting Goods has hired The Glover Park Group to engage in “lobbying related to gun control.” The move came only a few weeks after the big-box retailer made headlines by enacting a chain-wide policy allowing only those 21 and older to purchase firearms, removal of all modern sporting arms and standard-capacity magazines from its 35-store Field & Stream chain and, ultimately, destruction of those guns instead of seeking refunds from distributors or manufacturers.
Springfield Armory’s responded on its Facebook page. “Springfield Armory is severing ties with Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring a group for anti-Second Amendment lobbying,” it reads in part. “Their position runs counter to what we stand for as a company. At Springfield Armory, we believe in the rights and principles fought for and secured by American patriots and our founding forefathers, without question. We will not accept Dick’s Sporting Goods’ continued attempts to deny Second Amendment freedoms to our fellow Americans.”
Mossberg, the country’s oldest family-owned firearm maker, followed suit. “Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream,and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements,” it announced in a press release. In it, Iver Mossberg, chief executive officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons, explains, “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”
MKS Supply, exclusive marketer for American-made Hi-Point Firearms and Inland Manufacturing, is one of the latest to sever their business relationship. “We believe that refusing to sell long guns to adults under age 21, while many young adults in our military are not similarly restricted, is wrong,” the announcement said. “We believe that villainizing modern sporting rifles in response to pressure from uninformed, anti-gun voices is wrong. We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens’ freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream, in purportedly doing all of these things, have demonstrated that they do not share our values.”
The development affects more than just inventory. The National Shooting Sports Foundation—the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries—announced on May 4 that its “…Board of Governors today unanimously voted to expel Dick’s Sporting Goods from membership for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation.”