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Walmart, Dick’s Suspend Sale of Certain Semi-Automatic Rifles—What Do You Think?

In wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shooting, Dick's Sporting Goods also has removed all guns from the store closest to Newtown, CT.

In wake of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, two major retailers are pulling the plug on sales of certain semi-automatic weapons nationwide. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods, one of the largest sporting goods retailers in the world, has suspended sales of some semi-automatic rifles from all stores.

The company, which is headquartered in Moon Township, also has removed all guns from its chain closest to Newtown, CT.

In a statement, the store said it ordered the move out of respect for the victims and families of Newtown. Friday’s shooting left 20 children, all between the ages of 6 and 7, and six adults dead.

“We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community,” a statement on the Dick’s website said.

CNN reports authorities are working to determine if Adam Lanza, the 20-year-old shooter who killed himself inside the elementary school once the shooting spree was over, tried to buy a gun at the Dick’s Sporting Goods in Danbury, which is about 12 miles away from Newtown.

“At this time, reports that the suspect visited one of our stores last week have not been confirmed by law enforcement," the sporting goods store said in a statement to CNN. "Based on our records, we can confirm that no firearms were sold to the suspect identified in this case."

It is unknown how long Dick's ban on semi-automatic rifles, also known as modern sporting rifles, will last, CNN reports.

The Bushmaster Patrolman's Carbine M4A3 Rifle also no longer will be sold from Walmart's online store.

A military-style assault rifle, the Bushmaster is in the same family of guns as the one Lanza reportedly used in the massacre, the Huffington Post reports. 

Locally, Dick’s Sporting Goods has stores in Cranberry, Ross Township, Robinson, Monroeville and at the South Hills Village Mall in Upper St. Clair and the Pittsburgh Mills Mall in Tarentum.

Walmart also has locations throughout the Pittsburgh area, including Trinity Point Shopping Center in Washington, Carnegie, Bethel Park and Robinson.

We want to know what you think? Do you agree with Dick’s decision to suspend sales of semi-automatic rifles? What about removing the guns from the store near Newtown?

Should Dick’s make the ban a permanent decision?

Leave your thoughts in the comment section below or take our Patch Poll.

Jeff December 18, 2012 at 04:52 PM
I think gun stores are going to be packed. People are going to be afraid that they will no longer be available and will buy whatever they can. Always happens.
Mo December 18, 2012 at 04:59 PM
I think the tragedy is heartbreaking, but disarming the 99 % of law abiding citizens against the 1% worthless scumbags who will get guns illegally isn't the answer. The problem is this: You DO NOT force "THE WORLD IS COMING AT AN END" "Stockpile the GUNS!!" "ANARCHY IS HERE!!" or any other over zealous positions of doom, gloom, hate or otherwise to kids with mental health issues. While Adam Lanza committed an atrocious unforgivable act, it is without a doubt that its his family and surroundings (aka mom and whoever else was close to him) who were responsible for this kid to go off the deep end, likely after years and years of brainwashing -- intentional or not. While we don't like to point fingers and try to say things like 'they did all they could', etc etc, some parents simply do NOT do all they could, ignoring and blowing off signs and issues until it's too late, complete with all the excuses to go along with it.
Felicia B December 18, 2012 at 05:17 PM
I disagree entirely. They might as well stop selling rat poison (Jonestown), cutlery (China), and fertilizer (Oklahoma), too, because mass murderers have also used those things to kill. Just yesterday, an off-duty deputy stopped another mass killing near a theatre because she shot the attacker. We need to focus on helping the mentally ill and their families so those people never get to the point where they believe killing is the only solution. A car is a weapon - and drunk drivers have killed multiple people before. I don't see anyone offering that we should ban cars! I'm a big fan of law enforcement, and believe they are well trained and heroic for doing what they do: but I'm a realist, too, so I also believe that when seconds count, the police are only minutes away. I believe that I have the right and the obligation as a living, caring, and LOVING human being to defend myself and my loved ones from harm. I will do that with any weapon I have - a rock, a stick, a ballpoint pen, or a gun. But only defensively. No suspension of sales to protest an aberrant act of a seriously deranged individual can take away that determination or that right. Help the mentally ill and these incidents will likely become scarcer. But they've been going on in one form or another since civilization began. I'll stop worrying about self-defense when all violence between humans ceases entirely. Until then, I plan to prepare and train so I have at least a better chance of living through it.
Jason Krut December 18, 2012 at 05:22 PM
The tragedy in Newtown, CT has left us all feeling a little helpless these days. But, the recent move by Dick's has nothing to do with respect. It is a PR stunt to get good press from a national tragedy. Nobody asked Dick's to do this. It came out of left field. The massacre of those innocent lives should have us discussing mental health awareness and support. We can discuss school security as well if anybody wants. Any discussion of gun control or a gun 'ban' is a waste of time. You cannot simply ban anything into nonexistence. You can attempt to control it, but there will always be loopholes and there will always be criminals; therefore, there will always be guns, and people will commit heinous crimes. It is true. If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns. Everybody should see this for what it is, a meaningless gesture being used by an otherwise respectable corporation that is attempting to get good press over the souls of innocent victims. Shame on Dick's! I will not shop there until they reverse their decision! As for Wal-Mart, I already avoid that place like the plague....
Kevin Ewin December 18, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Mo, I'm a parent. And as a parent, I know I do everything I can. I'm one of the more committed parents I know of, but even then one never knows if your best is enough. Often it isn't. My wife and I didn't get to practice with a few kids (to work out all the kinks of parenting) before we decided it was something we wanted to do. I don't know of any parents who've had this luxury. From the first day you let your child out into the world (usually a daycare at age 3 or 4), you never know what's going to happen, even if you've done what all the experts suggest. Children are individuals, and as such, are apt to do unpredictable things, sometimes to your chagrin and sometimes to your utter delight. Single parent have the worse time, having to function as both parents. Worse are divorced parents who often blame themselves for their relationship's demise and struggle with figuring out how to do the right thing for their child. The emotional toll is unavoidably taken on both parent and child. But that's the way our world is. There is no perfection. There is only the best you can do. Sometimes that may not be good enough, but we deal with that, too.
Sherry Sacco December 18, 2012 at 06:40 PM
I don't agree with the banning of all guns. I do not see the need to sell weapons that are used by our armed forces. You will always have people out there who "snap" or who just aren't stable. And these people are the ones who will use any means possible to harm or murder others and do not need guns to do either. I agree with Jason that it is a ploy by these companies to sell. I was told a story last night about a town in the south, where nearly every citizen is armed with a gun. Their crime rate is nearly zero. Something to think about....
Mo December 18, 2012 at 08:00 PM
I agree Kevin, truth is most parents do fine fortunately. If you unconditionally love your children, show it often, and keep them out of adult themes before they're ready then you won't screw them up in life. You'll make mistakes like any parent but they'll turn out just fine. This is a case where the parents didn't do what was necessary -- especially if all the information based on all the 'End of Days' doomdays scenario mom is correct (and is not being mentioned in media due to the talk wanting to be about the guns only!). This is the kind of stuff that would severely impact any child, and especially one with mental health issues. As responsible parents we know we aren't helpless, but we want to do all we can to prevent this from happening again due to the immense sadness we fear and feel. If there's ever a time to come together as a nation now would be it. Unfortunately the all-in political one-sided media will never allow our nation to come together, it's not profitable news. That's another problem, the biggest one, for a different day.
Felicia B December 19, 2012 at 02:45 AM
Switzerland requires every head of household to own a gun and be trained ... the national violent crime rate is very low. England outlawed guns - violent crimes have had something like an 80% increase in the last 10 years - my guess is that only the criminals have guns and can victimize at will without fear. I am going to look up that town in the south ... might be worth the move!

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