Dick’s Sporting Goods no longer sells AR-15-style rifles at any of its stores, and soon its unsold inventory of the much-vilified firearms won’t be available anywhere else.
Instead of returning them to their manufacturers, Dick’s will destroy its entire stock of unsold AR-15s, the company said Monday.
“We are in the process of destroying all firearms and accessories that are no longer for sale as a result of our February 28th policy change,” a Dick’s spokeswoman told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We are destroying the firearms in accordance with federal guidelines and regulations.”
Pennsylvania-based Dick’s, the world’s largest sporting goods retailer, stopped selling AR-15-style rifles in February in response to the Parkland, Fla., school shooting. The company had previously removed the rifles from the shelves of its Dick’s-branded stores but continued to offer them at its 35 Field & Stream retail locations.
Parkland shooter Nikolas Cruz had purchased a gun from a Dick’s store, though not the AR-15-style rifle he used in the massacre. Still, CEO Edward Stack worried that “it could have been” the case.
Following the decision to pull modern sporting rifles from Field & Stream stores, it was unclear what Dick’s would do with the weapons it held in inventory. Typically, a retailer like Dick’s can return unsold merchandise to the manufacturer for a refund or a credit.
Instead, Dick’s has decided to destroy the rifles at the company’s distribution centers and send the parts to a salvage company to be recycled, reports the Post-Gazette. The company did not say how many rifles would be destroyed.
In addition to its policy on AR-15 sales, Dick’s said in February it would stop selling high-capacity magazines or sell firearms to anyone under 21 years old. The company is facing two lawsuits over the additional age restriction.