In response to the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary, major businesses are rethinking their relationships to firearms. As the bodies of the 26 dead are lowered into the ground this week, three companies have announced they’ll break from the sale or association with the lethal weapon that took their lives.
Here are the companies that are reassessing guns in the wake of the tragedy:
Walmart takes the Bushmaster off its website. The gunman at Sandy Hook used a military-style Bushmaster gun in the assault. Authorities have not disclosed the model of weapon, but Walmart — one of the largest companies in the world — pulled the Bushmaster Patrolman’s Carbine M4A3 Rifle from its website on Monday without releasing any statement on the decision. Walmart is one of the biggest ammunition and gun sellers in the country, and has been profiting off — and encouraging — growing gun sales in recent years
Dick’s stops selling some semi-automatic weapons. Not only has sporting goods store Dick’s removed all guns from its stores around Newtown, Connecticut, but, in a much larger step, it has also stopped selling certain semi-automatic rifles at all of its stores across the country and on its website. The company made a public statement about the move, saying it was meant as a sign of respect “during this time of national mourning,” but it is also worth noting that some reports show the gunman tried to purchase a weapon at a Dick’s store last week.
Cerberus Capital Management will divest from Bushmaster. The private equity company that owns the maker of Bushmaster said it’s selling off its investment in the company and returning any profit to investors. In a statement, Cerberus Capital Management was forthright about its decision, saying, “It is apparent that the Sandy Hook tragedy was a watershed event that has raised the national debate on gun control to an unprecedented level….It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate. That is the job of our federal and state legislators. There are, however, actions that we as a firm can take.”