Dick’s CEO Edward W. Stack — son of Dick Stack, the company’s namesake and founder — made it clear that the decision was motivated by the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. In an interview with Good Morning America on Wednesday, he said, “Based on what’s happened and looking at those kids and those parents, it moved us all unimaginably.”
Though the company had previously removed assault-style rifles from Dick’s stores in 2012, it went on to sell them in its hunting chain, Field & Stream. This time, Stack says the change is for good across all brands, the New York Times reports. Dick’s Sporting Goods stock rose about 1% in the hours immediately following the news before dropping slightly.
Stack’s father Dick Stack reportedly started the company in 1948 with a family loan of $300. Stack took over upon his father’s retirement in 1984, and he took the company public in 2002. Today, as the largest shareholder, his net worth is an estimated $1.2 billion, according to Forbes.
Stack says the company was moved to make the change when they learned that the alleged Parkland shooter, Nikolas Cruz, had purchased a firearm from one of their stores (though not the firearm he used in the school shooting).
“It came to us that we could have been a part of this story,’’ he told the New York Times. “We said, ‘We don’t want to be a part of this any longer.’ ”