(Photo: Wiki Commons)
(TheBlaze/AP) -- One of the country's largest sporting goods chains says it's suspending sales of "sporting rifles" nationwide because of the recent school shooting in Connecticut.
Dick's Sporting Goods also says it's also removing all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown, where the massacre took place.
Authorities say a gunman killed 26 people, mostly children, with a military-style rifle at Sandy Hook Elementary School on Friday after killing his mother. When he heard authorities closing in, he also killed himself.
A statement posted on Dick's website expressed sympathy for the victims' families, saying the sale of the rifles will be suspended during "this time of national mourning."
Here is the complete statement:
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.
Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.
We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy.
Dick's declined to answer Associated Press questions about how long the suspension will last, and exactly which weapons are being pulled.
Reactions have been mixed. Here is a sample of the comments on Facebook:
(Photo: Facebook/Dick's Sporting Goods)
One man wrote a lengthy comment in which he explained how, in his opinion, Dick's actions perpetuate the notion that the weapons are the problem, not the criminals, and that the best solution is to violate the rights of law-abiding citizens.
The absolute majority of the gun owning citizens of this country have a proven history of responsible ownership, including military grade weapons such as the AR15. I find it unfortunate that the evil of a few mentally ill citizen have motivated you to abandon the ideals of our 2nd amendment. This amendment was never about hunting or simple self-defense, it was is about the citizenry providing another of the important "checks and balances" that have served this country well for the last 236 years.
Pittsburgh-based Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. has more than 500 stores in 44 states.
CBS New York has more: