By Molly Prince
An investor confronted the CEO of the Dick’s Sporting Goods chain at an annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh, blasting the retailer’s recent restrictions on gun sales and its anti-gun advocacy.
David Almasi, a vice president at the National Center for Public Policy Research, attended the meeting Wednesday representing the think tank’s Free Enterprise Project, according to a report by Fox Business. Almasi accused Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack of violating fiduciary duties by knowingly and purposely giving up money.
“[Dick’s] has damaged its reputation by lending its voice and its resources to those who want to abolish the Second Amendment,” Almasi told Stack. “Thirty percent of American adults own guns, and another 11 percent live with someone who does. You’ve now alienated them.”
Dick’s made policy changes after the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, left 17 dead. The company announced it would no longer sell modern sporting rifles or high-capacity magazines. It also increased the purchase age for all firearms to 21, which Almasi pointed out is three years after Americans are eligible for military service.
Dick’s also hired lobbyists to promote gun restrictions, while saying it supports the Second Amendment.
Almasi identified multiple statements by Stack that acknowledged anti-gun policies have hurt business:
Sales are so anemic and relations with gun manufacturers such as Mossberg so poor right now that you’ve even indicated Dick’s might get out the gun business entirely. Meanwhile, Sportsman’s Warehouse reports that their gun sales and net sales were up 15 percent during the first quarter. That company credits consumer backlash against companies such as Dick’s as partially responsible for its success.
Stack responded by underlining the retailers commitment to the new policies. “We will not be changing our position,” he said.
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