Naperville Business Lawyers Discusses Retailers’ Reaction to Gun Violence Tragedies

gun, Naperville business lawyerAs a business law attorney, it is important for me to be extremely careful when discussing topics that are considered political or controversial. I have a professional responsibility to serve my clients regardless of my personal opinions on particular issues. With that said, I am also a private citizen and human being who was shocked and horrified to learn of the mass shooting that claimed the lives of least 17 students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida last month.

In the wake of the shooting, the topics of gun control and gun laws were once again thrust into the national spotlight. Such a reaction is not unusual, as the debate reignites with renewed fervor each time a tragedy like this occurs. This time, however, a major sporting goods retailer decided to take a public stand, regardless of the laws that may or may not be passed in the near future.

Dick’s Announces Policy Changes

This week, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that the company will no longer sell assault-style rifles in any of its stores, effective immediately. Most people consider a rifle to be “assault-style” when it is equipped with features like a pistol grip and mimics the look of a military-grade weapon. In addition, Dick’s will no longer sell any firearms or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21.

Appearing on Good Morning America, Dick’s chairman and CEO Ed Stack said he and his team saw the suffering caused by the Florida shooting. “We felt we needed to do something, he said.” Stack reaffirmed his company’s commitment to the Second Amendment but acknowledged that the problem of gun violence has become “an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people.” The young man who was arrested for last month’s shooting reportedly bought a shotgun from Dick’s within the last few months. While that weapon was not used in the shooting, Stack realized that it easily could have been. He also said that he is prepared for any potential backlash that may come as a result of the decisions.

Walmart Follows Suit

Following Stack’s announcement, retail giant Walmart said that it was also bumping the minimum age for gun purchases to 21. As the nation’s leading gun seller, Walmart also said that the company will no longer sell any items that resemble assault-style weapons, including air rifles and toys. Walmart discontinued sales of assault-style firearms back in 2015 following the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut but, at the time, said that it was for customer demand reasons. This time, Walmart was more forthcoming, acknowledging that the changes were made “in light of recent events.”

Businesses Reflect Personal Convictions

When you own and operate a business, your company will most likely reflect your personal values. This is to be expected, as long as you are compliant with all local, state, and federal laws. If you have questions about the appropriateness of your company’s policies and practices, contact an experienced Naperville business law attorney for guidance. Call 630-756-1160 for a confidential consultation today.

 

Sources:

The New York Times

National Public Radio

Chicago Tribune