After Dick’s banned all ‘assault-style’ firearms, the free market responded in a powerful way

After Dick’s banned all ‘assault-style’ firearms, the free market responded in a powerful way
Dick's Sporting Good is facing free market backlash after it decided to stop selling "assault-style" weapons in its stores and hired lobbyists to sway Congress toward gun control. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

The beauty of the United States’ free market system is Americans and businesses alike are free to choose what they do with their hard-earned money. People choose to do business with companies and people they like, and choose to stay away from companies they don’t.

Dick’s Sporting Good’s is learning this the hard way.

What are the details?

Shortly after the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February, Dick’s announced it would stop selling “assault-style” weapons in all its stores. The company later said it would personally destroy the firearms it no longer wished to sell.

And in April, it was reported Dick’s had hired lobbyists to sway Congress on gun control.

For one of the nation’s leading outdoor retailers, which many Americans flocked to for firearm and firearm-related purchases, taking the stand Dick’s did was a major decision. However, it did not come without consequences.

In the days after Dick’s announcement, several employees quit their job at the retailer, directly citing the new firearm policy. But something even bigger happened.

Companies that Dick’s had long done business with decided to sever business relations with Dick’s. Last week, the number of companies grew to four, and they are some of the most powerful firearm companies in the U.S.

The companies include:

  • Springfield Armory
  • Hi-Point Firearms
  • Mossberg
  • Inland Manufacturing

Additional firearm companies may cut ties with Dick’s in the near future as the company’s pro-gun control agenda grows.

What did the companies say?

They all said the straw that broke the camel’s back was Dick’s decision to lobby Congress for gun control.

“We want to be clear about our message in response. Their position runs counter to what we stand for as a company. At Springfield Armory, we believe in the rights and principles fought for and secured by American patriots and our founding forefathers, without question,” Springfield Armory said. “We will not accept Dick’s Sporting Goods’ continued attempts to deny Second Amendment freedoms to our fellow Americans.”

Mossberg said: “It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control. Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”

MKS Supply, which manufacturers Hi-Point and Inland firearms, said: “We believe that hiring lobbyists to oppose American citizens’ freedoms secured by the Second Amendment is wrong. Dick’s Sporting Goods and Field & Stream, in purportedly doing all of these things, have demonstrated that they do not share our values. [We’re] standing by the American people by refusing any further sales to Dick’s Sporting Goods & Field & Stream.”