Popular outdoor retail chain REI is the latest company to distance itself from the gun industry by placing a hold on future orders of products like CamelBak water bottles, Camp Chef portable grills, and Giro helmets.
REI decided to disassociate itself from the popular brands since they are owned by Vista Outdoor, a company that also owns Savage Arms, a firearm and assault-style rifle manufacturer. Earlier this week, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, and L.L. Bean raised the age to buy firearm and ammunition from their stores to 21, following backlash by customers in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that killed 17 people.
Customers had been urging REI to stop doing business with Vista Outdoor brands. Online petitions with thousands of signatures have also been circulating.
REI noted that it does not sell guns, but said gun manufacturers and retailers need to “work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month,” according to a statement released Thursday. “In the last few days, we’ve seen such action from companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart and we applaud their leadership.”
REI said Vista Outdoor recently purchased several companies that have been sold at the store for a long time, including Camelbak, Giro, Camp Chef, and Blackburn.
“Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that,” the statement read.
A number of major corporations have been cutting ties to the National Rifle Association in the wake of the Parkland massacre. Public pressure urging companies to end their relationships with the powerful gun lobby and gun manufacturers began after ThinkProgress reported a list of more than two dozen companies doing business with the NRA.