SACRAMENTO, CA (March 1, 2018) — Following an announcement by Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward Stack, Wal-Mart announced that it, too, is taking steps to impose an age-based ban on firearm and ammunition sales, and removing items “resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys” from their online ecommerce website. “Our heritage as a company has always been in serving sportsmen and hunters,”—not all law-abiding gun owners, competitors, and people purchasing common semi-automatic firearms and ammunition for self-defense—Wal-Mart said in its February 28 statement.
Following in Dick’s and Wal-Mart’s footsteps, food giant Kroger, which owns the Fred Meyer chain of general merchandise stores, today took additional steps to end sales of semi-automatic weapons and imposed a new ban on sales of all firearms and ammunition to law-abiding Americans under the age of 21.
“If these corporations are going to put themselves on the wrong side of a bitter culture war over our Constitution and Second Amendment rights, then law-abiding Americans are going to take their business elsewhere,” commented FPC Grassroots Director Richard Thomson. “Dick’s, Wal-Mart, and Kroger are alienating millions of their customers and going out of their way to take troubling political positions.”
But advocacy organization Firearms Policy Coalition, which opposes gun bans and age-based limits on purchases by legal adults, said that these companies and others considering similar policies should think twice. In some states, age-based discrimination in public retail establishments is illegal.
According to a 2016 National Conference of State Legislatures report, over one-third of states have public accommodation or civil rights laws that prohibit age-based discrimination. And even some local governments, like Broward County, Florida—where Sheriff Scott J. Israel and the FBI failed to protect the lives of innocent people in the horrific Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting—have broad antidiscrimination ordinances that prohibit age-based discrimination in businesses open to the public.
Even setting aside the Second Amendment concerns about age-based gun bans, FPC says, some states have constitutional provisions or statutes that protect law-abiding adults’ right to keep and bear arms, which might heighten the interest in any age discrimination litigation.
“If these billionaire corporate bullies are illegally discriminating against people based on their age, then maybe some 19 or 20-year-old law-abiding gun owners should sue them,” FPC President Brandon Combs remarked. “Corporate virtue signaling might be a trendy way to get clicks, but it’s going to hurt their bottom lines. And if these corporations oppose our rights and values, they deserve to take losses. Gun owners are tired of being treated like second-class citizens.”
President Trump previously said that he supports a government ban on gun sales to legal adults under the age of 21. Gun owners who oppose gun control and support pro-gun legislation can send an urgent message to President Trump and Congress at www.2abattle.com.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)4 grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States, especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.