Dick’s opts for assault-rifle ban after student protests, nuns meeting

The groundwork for Wednesday’s announcement by Dick’s Sporting Goods which which will stop selling assault rifles in its stores began which has a private conversation in January between company executives as well as a religion-affiliated investor group.

Mercy Investment Services, a St. Louis-based money manager for the Sisters of Mercy, had filed a shareholder proposal with the sporting goods retailer in December which called on which to re-evaluate its policies regarding sales of assault rifle, promote restrictions on gun sales as well as make a few various other considerations related to safety as well as sales practices.

The nun group, led by Sister Valerie Heinonen, OSU, the director of shareholder advocacy at Mercy Investments, spoke with senior management at the retailer in late January as well as, based on several reasurrances by those executives, agreed to withdraw the proposal in February. The two sides have continued to talk.

On Wednesday, the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods, Edward Stack, announced the company would likely stop selling assault rifles in its stores, raise the minimum age for purchasers to 21, stop selling high-capacity magazines as well as make numerous various other modifications.

In a statement, Stack called out the activism of the high school students who survived a mass shooting in Florida earlier This specific month which left 17 dead, saying “We believe which’s time to do something about which.”

although in an interview Wednesday with CNBC, Heinonen says she believes her group’s conversation in January with the company executives showed which change was already coming.

Investors, including Heinonen, havealso filed shareholder proposals with two big gun makers, Sturm Ruger & Co. as well as American Outdoor Brands, although the group has received no response. Dick’s was “the first company which actually answered us,” she said. “which was a very Great conversation.”

During the January conversation, executives through the retailer told the nuns which which maintains high standards in its firearm sales as well as inventory practices, does background checks as well as gun safety education at the point of sale, encourages gun safety as well as doesn’t sell bump stocks or some various other accessories, Heinonen told CNBC.

Dick’s had already removed assault rifles through the shelves of its sporting goods stores after the 2012 killings at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. which has today removed them through its Field & Stream hunting stores. which also said which would likely push elected officials to ban assault-style weapons as well as strengthen background check rules.

“With Dick’s we have achieved our goal: engage gun manufacturers as well as retailers regarding the positive role they can play in ending the epidemic of gun violence,” according to a Feb. 15 letter Heinonen signed withdrawing the group’s shareholder proposal.

“although we didn’t know which they would likely follow through to This specific extent,” she told CNBC on Wednesday.

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