SEATTLE (AP) – The Latest on tension between corporate America and the gun lobby (all times local):
Outdoor retailer REI says it’s halting future orders of some popular brands – including CamelBak water carriers, Giro helmets and Camp Chef stoves – whose parent company also makes ammunition and assault-style rifles.
Seattle-based REI has been facing mounting pressure from some customers since last month’s school shooting in Florida to stop doing business with brands owned by Vista Outdoor, which also has a shooting sports division that includes Savage Arms. The pressure included online petitions that garnered thousands of signatures.
Late Thursday, REI issued a statement noting that while it does not sell guns, it expects companies that do to help prevent mass shootings. The statement said REI will “place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds.”
Vista did not return an email seeking comment.
The rift between corporate American and the gun lobby is growing.
Retail heavyweights Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods have taken steps to restrict gun sales. That follows moves by several other major corporations, including MetLife, Hertz and Delta Air Lines, that have cut ties with National Rifle Association following last month’s school massacre in Florida.
Dick’s said Wednesday it will immediately stop selling assault-style rifles and ban the sale of all guns to anyone under 21. Its CEO took on the NRA by demanding tougher gun laws.
Walmart, the nation’s largest retailer, followed by saying it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21. It had stopped selling AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015.
The announcements from the major national retailers came as students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, returned to class for the first time since a teenager killed 17 students and educators with an AR-15 rifle two weeks ago.
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