Dick's Sporting Goods Back Pedaling Assault Rifle Suspension vi - Beckley, Bluefield & Lewisburg News, Weather, Sports

Dick's Sporting Goods Back Pedaling Assault Rifle Suspension via New Store?

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The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn. sent shock waves throughout the country, sparking a large scale debate on the ban of assault rifles.

Many big name sporting goods stores suspended sales but one company is opening new shops selling semi-automatic rifles.

One of the largest outdoor retailers in the world Dick's Sporting Goods, was one of the first stores to come forward and suspend the sale of assault rifles following the Newtown, Conn. shooting last December.

The shooter, Adam Lanza killed 20 children and 6 teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary School using an AR-15 assault rifle.

Dick's has now opened a new store chain called Field & Stream in Pennsylvania where AR-15 assault rifles are back on shelves.

"They're hypocrites," said Eric Stratton, Owner of Shooter's Roost in Beckley.

"You can't sell one thing, decide that it's not politically convenient to not sell it for awhile and do it again without getting some repercussions for that," said Stratton.

Stratton, much like many others in Raleigh County think Dick's is looking for a new way to cash in after suspending the sale of semi-automatic guns.

Sandie Willis of Daniels thinks Dick's needs "to stick to their guns."

"Either you do something and stand by it or say something and stay by it and do that or you're really going against your own principles," said Willis.

A little more than a week after a 20-year-old gunman in Georgia is charged for firing an assault rifle at an elementary school, Dick's spin-off store Field & Stream makes these guns available for purchase.

Willis is also not against the sale of semi-automatic rifles.

"Without the sale criminals will still end up with those guns and law abiding citizens won't be able to have them," said Willis.

Dick's Sporting Goods is headquartered in Pittsburgh, Penn. with over 500 locations nationwide. The company plans to build more Field & Stream stores in Crescent Springs, Kentucky and Erie, Pennsylvania.