I’ve been a long-time customer of Sportsman’s Warehouse on Ferncliff Ave. N.W. in Roanoke. I take my grandson there to shop and have received store gift cards at my birthday. So, I felt particularly wounded when I saw the store’s ad supplement recently in this paper promoting Smith & Wesson semi-automatic rifles with 25 and 30 capacity magazines—"full capacity magazines will be supplied with rifles in nonrestrictive states.” The ads also offered $40 and $75 gift cards with purchase.
I called the store to voice my concern and spoke with the Hunting Manager and the Office Manager. The Store Manager didn’t return my call. The two department managers I talked to told me the store didn’t have a choice in the weapons they carried. They suggested I contact their corporate headquarters in Midvale, Utah, which I did and left several unanswered messages there with the CEO and other C-level staff.
I pointed out to the two local managers and in my phone message to corporate that Dick’s Sporting Goods, in Roanoke located at Valley View Mall a short drive from Sportsman’s Warehouse, removed firearms from stores after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. The result has been an increase in overall sales. Dick's has over 700 stores in the U.S.
I was prepared to back up my concern to Sportsman’s Warehouse by quoting the reduction in mass killings after the Brady Bill banned semi-automatic weapons with magazines larger than 10 rounds in 1994. The bill resulted in a 25% drop in gun massacres and a 40% drop in fatalities. Since Congress repealed the law in 2004, studies show that mass-shooting fatalities were 70% less likely during the assault weapons ban compared with figures before and after the ban.
But I wasn’t given the chance to voice this to Sportsman’s Warehouse corporate decision-makers and it fell on deaf ears at the local store. So, I voice it to you and other Timesland readers who are decision-makers on where to shop. In this case, your decision has the potential to carry a message that might saves lives, which makes it something more than just a decision.