"If we do these things and it saves one life, don’t you think it’s worth it?’” Dick's CEO Edward W. Stack said

By Greg Hanlon
October 09, 2019 01:19 PM
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

The CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods said in a recent interview that his company has destroyed more than $5 million worth of assault weapons in the chain store’s inventory and turned the weapons into scrap metal.

“I said, ‘You know what? If we really think these things should be off the street, we need to destroy them,'” CEO Edward W. Stack told CBS Sunday Morning.

Stack said his company was reviewing whether it would continue to sell guns in the chain’s stores, which number more than 700.

Stack said he’d been grappling with the ethics of selling assault weapons since the February 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which 17 people were killed. The suspect in the attack bought a gun in a Dick’s store, and even though that particular gun wasn’t used in the school shooting, Stack said the massacre forced him to confront hard questions.

“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 said. “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?’”

Previously, Dick’s — based in Coraopolis, Pennsylvania — banned the sale of military-style rifles at its 35 Field & Stream stores and stopped selling guns to anyone younger than 21.

Stack told CBS the measures cost the retailer “a quarter of a billion dollars.”

Stack said he is a hunter and gun owner who believes in gun ownership rights.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

“All this about, you know, how we were anti-Second Amendment, you know, ‘We don’t believe in the Constitution,’ and none of that could be further from the truth,” he said in the interview. “We just didn’t want to sell the assault-style weapons that could inflict that kind of damage.”

Last month, Stack was one of 145 CEOs of large American corporations to sign a letter urging the Senate to “take action” on gun background checks and “red flag” legislation, CBS reports.

Also last month, Walmart and Kroger asked customers not to openly carry guns in stores even in states where it’s legal, and Walmart banned ammunition sales on handguns and assault rifles.

In 2015, Walmart stopped selling assault rifles, The New York Times reports.