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Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart Won’t Sell Guns To Anyone Under 21

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart Won’t Sell Guns To Anyone Under 21

A Dick’s employee quit his job in protest, citing the Second Amendment

Earlier this week, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced that it will no longer sell AR-15 style and semi-automatic rifles.  This announcement seems a bit cynical given that Dick’s stopped selling AR-15 style and semi-automatic rifles six years ago, though its affiliate Field & Stream had returned to selling them five years ago.  As of this week’s announcement, Field & Stream’s 35 stores will no longer carry these rifles.

Dick’s did announce something new, though:  they are imposing their own age limit on gun purchasers.  Regardless of state or federal law, Dick’s set its own age requirement for the purchase of firearms at 21.  Not to be outdone, Walmart soon followed suit, as did Kroger’s.

The Washington Post reports:

Dick’s Sporting Goods will no longer sell assault-style firearms, will ban high-capacity magazines and will not sell any guns to people younger than 21, the company announced Wednesday, a significant move for the retail giant in the midst of renewed calls for national gun reform.

Chief executive Edward W. Stack made the announcement during an appearance on “Good Morning America”, as well as through a company statement that said “thoughts and prayers are not enough” in the wake of America’s latest mass shooting. Two weeks ago, a gunman killed 17 people, most of them teenagers, in Parkland, Fla., with an AR-15 that was legally purchased. The alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, bought a shotgun from a Dick’s store in November, Stack said during the television interview.

Although the weapon purchased at the Dick’s outlet was not the one used in the massacre, Stack said his company was moved to act.

“We did everything by the book, and we did everything that the law required, and he was still able to buy a gun,” Stack told host George Stephanopoulos.

Walmart has jumped on minimum age requirement and has also vowed to stop selling toys that resemble assault rifles.

NPR reports:

Walmart, which ended sales of modern sporting rifles such as AR-15s in 2015, has announced that it is raising the minimum age for purchasing firearms and ammunition from 18 to 21. The company notes that it does not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories.

Walmart is also removing items from its website “resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys” — like the air gun Tamir Rice was playing with when he was shot by a Cleveland police officer who thought the 12-year-old was armed.

It’s not clear whether or not the decision to raise the age limit for the purchase of firearms will stand up in court.

The New York Times reports:

Legal experts said they saw no likely challenges to Dick’s decision to stop selling assault-style rifles. But the decision to stop selling weapons to anyone under 21, however, could be tested in court.

Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at the School of Law of the University of California, Los Angeles, said Dick’s could be challenged in lawsuits claiming a violation of laws that bar age discrimination. Although federal civil rights laws do not apply, some states, including New York, prohibit businesses from denying goods and services on the basis of age.

“Don’t be surprised if an aggressive attorney general of a gun-friendly state brings an age-discrimination claim against Dick’s,” Professor Winkler wrote in an email response to questions.

According to Judge Napolitano, an example of one state in which such a suit could be filed is New Jersey.


Not only has Dick’s made these news rules, but they are also stepping into the political debate about guns by petitioning elected officials to enact “common sense gun reform.”

One (now former) Dick’s employee from Lincoln, Nebraska quit his job in protest of these new policies.

The Washington Examiner reports:

20-year-old Alexander DeGarmo has worked at the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Lincoln, Neb., for six months, but abruptly resigned this week after the store announced they would no longer sell firearms to individuals under 21 following the Parkland, Fla., shooting.

“I believe it is morally and constitutionally wrong to infringe upon the rights of law abiding citizens in any way, and I will not work for a company that pushes for the restriction of the Second Amendment,” he wrote in his resignation letter which he posted to Facebook.

. . . .  DeGarmo said his resignation letter was well-received.

“The management at my store was very understanding and respected that I am standing up for what I believe in.”

He also made sure to praise his former co-workers in his resignation letter.

“My coworkers and management at store 1244 were always of the highest standing and quality, I have no complaints about their work ethic or moral standing,” he wrote.

DeGarmo plans to spend his new-found free time working more with the Second Amendment Institute and on political campaigns that represent his values.

DeGarmo is not alone in his protest.  Calls for a boycott of Dick’s Sporting Goods have flooded Facebook and Twitter.

[Featured image via Twitter]


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I have avoided Dick’s ever since their botched acquisition of Galleon’s. Dick’s purchased a well-respected company with strong customer loyalty and Dick’s lost those customers due to their overall sleaziness.

sounds like age discrimination to me, wonder how well that will hold up in court..

    The Packetman in reply to starride. | March 3, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    given that the GCA ’68 already discriminates* against 18-20 year olds with regards to handguns, I don’t see how SCOTUS would have a problem with it.

    *I do not agree with it, but it is what it is.

      tom_swift in reply to The Packetman. | March 3, 2018 at 7:33 pm

      Laws and arbitrary corporate policies are hardly equivalent.

        nebel in reply to tom_swift. | March 3, 2018 at 10:26 pm

        You are correct. The distinction is between law and corporate policy. It is illegal to sell handguns to people under 21. In contrast, the age limit for long rifles is 18. When corporations chose to not sell a product (ie long guns) to someone because of their age, the corporation will run afoul of state and local civil rights laws which outlaw denying the sale of a product to an adult on the basis of age. It appears that Dick’s corporate policy of a 21 year age limit violates several state anti-discrimination laws.

      Milhouse in reply to The Packetman. | March 3, 2018 at 11:59 pm

      SCOTUS has nothing to do with it, since there’s no federal law against age discrimination. This would only affect those places that have such a law, so it would be determined by the state or city courts.

notamemberofanyorganizedpolicital | March 3, 2018 at 6:51 pm

Will they impose a 21 years old restriction on all MSM/media propaganda that they carry?

You know Rolling Stone, Newsweek, Time, etc. etc. etc.

Conservative Beaner | March 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm

The executives at Dick’s now match the company name. What a bunch of …..

Dicks wants to be the premiere SJW outfitter. Expect to see racks of pink pussy hats near the check out.

Now I have no choice but to walk into a Dick’s with an 18 year old, go to the sporting goods section, and in front of everyone, have the 18 year old pick out a rifle, give me his money, I then purchase it, and then sell it to the 18 year old for $1 dollar, which I will then give to him as a gift.

    Sanddog in reply to MrSatyre. | March 3, 2018 at 7:54 pm

    You really don’t want to do that. That can actually land you in prison.

    rustyshamrock in reply to MrSatyre. | March 3, 2018 at 7:58 pm

    That would be a straw purchase. I wouldn’t advise it.

      Can you give one as a gift? It would really be bizarre if you could buy one and give it away free but would be criminal if you got one dollar for it.

    tom_swift in reply to MrSatyre. | March 3, 2018 at 8:38 pm

    have the 18 year old pick out a rifle, give me his money, I then purchase it

    Seriously … this is the legal kiss of death. BATF distributes instructional videos to show store clerks when to blow the whistle on a transaction, and this is one of the biggies.

    And there are other pitfalls. In some states a “parent or legal guardian” can give a firearm to a minor (and an 18 year old can be a prohibited minor by federal law, depending on the type of firearm), but that’s it—anyone else would face criminal charges. And a sale (for any amount) and a gift are very distinct concepts when firearms are involved.

    Every few years BATF sends me a couple of books, one of federal laws relevant to gun sales and possession, and a much thicker one of state laws. Be aware that there are a lot of laws.

    Gallivanting in a minefield just to annoy some poor minimum-wage clerk stuck behind the counter at Dick’s may be a frivolous way to exercise life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

      neanderthal in reply to tom_swift. | March 4, 2018 at 12:51 am

      I note they also have decided to ban the sale of ammunition to those under the age of 21. I don’t think there are any federal laws restricting those sales.

      Seems like it would completely sidestep the “straw purchaser” restrictions. Problem is, even if true, you’re really just annoying a clerk, who might not even be particularly annoyed. But I think they have discretion to refuse even legal sales if they feel uneasy about them.

      If you REALLY want to annoy Dick’s, let them know that you’re buying your rifles and ammunition at Academy now, which has avoided the virtue signaling that Dick’s and Wal-Mart have done.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to neanderthal. | March 4, 2018 at 5:54 pm

        My only comment on this is, if you want quality firearms for decent prices, then support your local gun store and avoid big box stores.

    Blueshot in reply to MrSatyre. | March 4, 2018 at 11:54 am

    If you really want to make a statement go somewhere else and send copies of the receipts to Dicks corporate offices. Let them know that this is money they will never see in their accounts.

“Common Sense laws”
“We haven’t done enough”
“It’s for the children”
“The Constitution is a living document”
“First step….”

Any one or a combination of these phrases are pathognomonic of a pending loss of some degree of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

New Jersey is a potential state to file a complaint? He has got to be kidding.

What really needs to be done is to have pro 2A teens jumping on social media telling these companies they won’t be spending any money with them for the next 40 to 60 years.
Let the companies know their future is in doubt.

In 1964 my order to report for a pre-induction physical came when I was 19. Wanted me to go somewhere in Asia to fight a war started by democrats. I could die for Lyndon but I couldn’t vote or drink. None of the females the same age got drafted that year. They stayed home, went to college and spat at me and called me a baby killer when I got home and after I graduated they all had at least 2 years seniority on me.

Assholes then…. assholes now.

rustyshamrock | March 3, 2018 at 8:11 pm

Wait! Kroger’s sells guns? Who knew? Used to shop there regularly, though not in those states. Oh well, guess I missed out!

    Edward in reply to rustyshamrock. | March 3, 2018 at 9:39 pm

    Saw that too. At least the Kroger stores in Dallas don’t carry firearms, or didn’t when we lived in Dallas 45 years ago.

Curiously, abortionists (e.g. Planned Mother and Parents (sic)), self-abortionists, and criminals are unaffected. There is also the “fast and furious” loophole.

Voting rights are next.

4th armored div | March 3, 2018 at 9:10 pm

let’s not forget that the LibRules tell parents that they can’t stop confused teens from having abortions or sex change operations.

BUT – some of them are opposed to circumcision, religious or otherwise.

parents also can’t stop preteens, etc from body piercings –
go figure what the laws allow or forbid.

4th armored div | March 3, 2018 at 9:12 pm

i like Walmart for prices, but i may need to spend a little more —– BUT WHERE ??????

    That’s the problem for rural areas, Wally World is the largest, best stocked, grocery store around.

    Amazon. At least Bezos hasn’t bee stupid enough to jump in on all of this.

      Milhouse in reply to RobM. | March 4, 2018 at 12:08 am

      Amazon prohibits the listing or sale of all firearms, including assault weapons, black powder guns, handguns, muzzleloaders, shotguns, rifles, and starter guns.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | March 4, 2018 at 5:58 pm

        Yes, but that was a business choice when they started the site, probably because of the increase expense involved in getting the proper licenses and what not. It was not because they are catering to a mob, there is a bit of difference there.

    tom_swift in reply to 4th armored div. | March 4, 2018 at 3:50 am

    In a wasteland like MA, Walmart is good for ammo.

    Cabela’s has a much bigger assortment, about three aisles of it—basically an aisle each for pistol, rifle, shotgun. Powders (propellants), too, which Walmart doesn’t have. But Walmart is tough to beat on price. And Cabela’s only has about 80 US retail locations, vs. some 3,500-odd for Walmart.

      Anonamom in reply to tom_swift. | March 4, 2018 at 9:16 am

      There is no Cabela’s anymore. They were purchased by Bass Pro Shops.

        murkyv in reply to Anonamom. | March 4, 2018 at 9:19 pm

        they’re still using Cabelas name though

        tom_swift in reply to Anonamom. | March 4, 2018 at 10:52 pm

        And they thereupon cease to exist? You have some strange misconceptions about commerce.

        The MA desert has a Bass Pro Shops retail location, too. Never been there, can’t speak to its ammo stock. The big box which says “CABELA’S” out front has plenty, though.

Olson Johnson: What are we made of? Our fathers came across the prairies, fought Indians, fought drought, fought locusts, fought Dix… remember when Richard Dix came in here and tried to take over this town? Well, we didn’t give up then, and by gum, we’re not going to give up now!

I’m shaking my head but I have to remember that Liberty also means the freedom to do stupid things.

it’s interesting, you get drafted at 18, you vote at 18, get a drivers license around 16, you can get married at around 16, but you can’t buy liquor at 18 or get a gun at 18. the division is interesting.

“Don’t be surprised if an aggressive attorney general of a gun-friendly state brings an age-discrimination claim against Dick’s,” Professor Winkler wrote in an email response to questions.

According to Judge Napolitano, an example of one state in which such a suit could be filed is New Jersey.

Um, what? In what universe is NJ gun-friendly? In what universe would any NJ A-G, of either party, bring such a suit?

We deeply believe that this country’s most precious gift is our children.

Big deal. Everybody has children; this country is hardly unique.

But not everybody has a Bill of Rights.

Would it be legal for a gas station, in an effort to stop texting and driving, to refuse to sell to anyone under 21?

    Milhouse in reply to MarkS. | March 4, 2018 at 9:09 am

    Yes, it would, in any place where state or local law doesn’t prohibit it. How do you think the car rental companies are able to charge extra, or refuse to rent, to those under 25? Were you under the impression that all discrimination is illegal in the USA?

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Milhouse. | March 4, 2018 at 6:02 pm

      Actually the most common misunderstanding I see around discrimination is that, with a few notable exception, the constitution prohibits the GOVERNMENT from discriminating, not private citizens or companies.

        This is true. The Constitution also provides for Congress to pass laws, and they have done so on the issue of discrimination on the basis of age, race, and etc. These laws, though, focus on employment and discrimination in the workplace. It’s hard to see how this would apply to a company deciding it didn’t want to sell something to people under a certain age. I see this mushrooming as companies, under pressure from leftist lobbies and citizen activists encouraged by this corporate age limit on gun sales, decide they won’t sell candy and sugary sodas to anyone under 18, for example.

        Is it legal? Depends what state you’re in.

        The rights of bakers to refuse to bake cakes for gay weddings has been challenged under state laws (the Constitution, of course, reserves all rights not covered by the Constitution or federal law to the states and to the people). One of these cases got interesting when a baker said that he felt his religious liberty was under attack; this is a Constitutional issue, not a state issue. He was happy to sell any baked good to any LGBT customer; he just didn’t want to be forced by the state to participate in a wedding. Weddings, he noted, are sacraments and as such, according to his religious beliefs, he did not feel he should be forced to participate. His case drew a distinction that the left ignored between being homophobic (banning all LGBT people from his bakery) and being bound by his religious beliefs (I’ll make you any sweet treat you want, but I cannot, in good conscience, participate in your wedding).

        Anyway, companies can sell to whomever they wish and put restrictions on those sales, but legal challenges are always an issue. What if a company decided it didn’t want to sell to black people or that it would only sell its products to middle-aged cat ladies? Bad business, to be sure, but is it legal?

          Milhouse in reply to Fuzzy Slippers. | March 5, 2018 at 8:42 am

          The Constitution also provides for Congress to pass laws, and they have done so on the issue of discrimination on the basis of age, race, and etc. These laws, though, focus on employment and discrimination in the workplace. It’s hard to see how this would apply to a company deciding it didn’t want to sell something to people under a certain age.

          Public accommodation laws, whether federal or local, apply exactly to this, except that Congress has chosen not to ban discrimination on the basis of age, except for those over 40. It’s illegal, everywhere in the USA, to refuse to sell to people over 40 on the basis of their age. Congress could easily have made that age 18, or banned age discrimination altogether, but it hasn’t, so it remains legal to discriminate on that basis except where state or local law says otherwise.

          What if a company decided it didn’t want to sell to black people or that it would only sell its products to middle-aged cat ladies? Bad business, to be sure, but is it legal?

          The former decision would be illegal, because Congress specifically banned it. The latter decision would be perfectly legal, except for the “middle-aged” and “ladies” parts; they’d have to sell to elderly cat ladies too, and to both middle-aged and elderly cat gentlemen.

          We need to immediately identify and register all cat persons for discrimination purposes. (“elderly cat gentlemen” is hilarious to me, I’m still giggling)

This is all knee-jerk BS. It is designed to make the owners and upper management heroes to their liberal Progressive peers. And, it is done thinking that the customer base of these businesses will not be negatively affected.

Realistically, the 21 YOA limit on the purchase of handguns has not kept handguns out of the hands of those under 21 YOA, to any significant degree. 19 year old gangbangers are still shooting up Chicago, which also has the tightest across the board gun ownership laws in the nation. 21 YOA purchase laws do not keep those same 19 year olds from obtaining alcoholic beverages. Minors still obtain cigarettes in most jurisdictions with little or no trouble.

So, if Dicks or Walmart decides not to sell AR-15 style weapons to anyone under the age of 21, let them. Those 21 year olds will simply go down the street to Mickey Boombot’s House of Guns and buy one. And they will buy their extra magazines, accessories and ammunition there. And, people over 21 will run in to buy an AR before the evil gun grabbers impose another assault weapons bill and make it difficult to purchase one. They too will buy accessories and ammo from Mickey. Mickey will make a LOT of money off the decision of Dick’s, et al. Dick’s will make zilch. Gotta love it when a plan comes together. After all, Delta made a wise choice to trade the a discount plan, which had been used 13 times since its inception, for an all but guaranteed $43 million dollar tax break.

    Milhouse in reply to Mac45. | March 4, 2018 at 11:59 am

    Realistically, the 21 YOA limit on the purchase of handguns has not kept handguns out of the hands of those under 21 YOA, to any significant degree.

    Sure it has. It hasn’t stopped 19 year old gangbangers from arming themselves to attack others, but it has stopped decent law-abiding 19-year-olds who are afraid of arrest and a criminal record from arming themselves for defense. This is not a good thing.

      Mac45 in reply to Milhouse. | March 4, 2018 at 12:37 pm

      Not really. Remember the much touted “Gun Show” loophole? There is a significant, legal casual market of gun sales out there. People do not have to buy firearms from a licensed dealer. And, for those under 21 YOA, who want to buy from a licensed dealer, there is always a long gun as an alternative. Without the statutory age limit of pistol sales, little Nicky Cruz might have bought a handgun, rather than an evil assault rifle.

    This coulod be a good thing for people like me. I own a small gun shop and I will follow federal law when it comes to sales. As long as they can pass the background check they should be good to go. Unless they present themselves as drooling idiots.

    I’m no expert on gangs, but something tells me MS-13, the Crips, et al. don’t waltz into Walmart for their weapons. These rules, like any proposed “gun control” laws, target the law-abiding, and as such can never work to decrease “gun violence.”

buckeyeminuteman | March 4, 2018 at 11:20 am

Though legally authorized, refusing to sell a product to someone based on their age sounds a lot like refusing to sell someone a wedding cake based on their sexual preference (at least in court it does). If bakers have to bake a cake based on a Supreme Court fiat, wouldn’t Dick’s have to sell a rifle based on actual law??

    No baker has ever had to bake a cake based on Supreme Court fiat. Neither discrimination based on sexual orientation nor discrimination based on age (under 40) is illegal in the USA. Both are illegal in certain areas.

    In those places where discrimination based on sexual orientation is illegal, bakers must sell cakes to homosexuals; whether they must design and bake custom cakes specifically for same-sex weddings will soon be decided by the Supreme Court.

    In those places where discrimination based on age (over 18) is illegal, gun dealers must sell guns to 18-year-olds. Whether makers of custom weapons with a significant artistic component, and who have some sort of conscientious objection to doing so for 18th-birthday parties, must do so anyway, will presumably be decided by the same case.

    Why is this hard to understand?