Dick’s Sporting Goods Caves in to Pressure and Sells Newtown Massacre Rifles at Spinoff Store

Aug 19, 2013 at 7:55 AM ET

You have to love the chutzpah. Last December, Dick’s Sporting Goods, the country’s largest retailer of outdoor and sporting equipment, suspended sales of modern sporting rifles “out of respect” for the victims of the Newtown, Connecticut, school massacre. Was this necessary? Maybe not. Nothing could bring back the 20 children and six educators whom authorities say Adam Lanza shot and killed with a Bushmaster AR-15. But it was a nice gesture. One intended to show that even though Dick’s is a company like any other, people are still more important than profits.

Or are they? After a dip in gun sales and a bevy of customer complaints, Dick’s has apparently found a loophole to its promise. The company is keeping modern sporting rifles out of its namesake stores, but fully stocking them at it’s new hunting and fishing spinoff, Field & Stream. We called Dick’s on Aug. 8 and 9 and they declined to answer our questions about whether the spinoff would be selling AR-15 style rifles.

So, we did a bit of research and learned that the first ever Field & Stream was opening on Friday in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania, and decided to check out the big guns.

We weren’t the only ones looking for an AR-15. The line to purchase these firearms was so long that customers were required to take numbers. And the selection was excellent! So excellent, in fact, that we decided to take pictures (see below). The guns for sale included the Remington AR-15s, S&W AR-15s as well as Stag and DPMS AR-15s. Oh, and don’t forget the Bushmaster used by Lanza.

A clerk confirmed that Dick’s namesake locations still don’t sell these guns, but that they do stock their ammo.

Selling these guns isn’t against the law. But the law isn’t the point. It’s pretty lame to act pious and concerned and say you aren’t going to do something, and then turn around and do it under the auspices of a “separate” company.