Does Dick’s Make Any Money Selling Assault Rifles?

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Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. (NYSE: DKS) made a big deal over its plan to stop selling assault rifles. While the decision was well received in many quarters, it is unlikely to have much financial consequence.

Dick’s management said it made the following decisions about its gun sales:

We will no longer sell assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all DICK’S stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores.

We will no longer sell firearms to anyone under 21 years of age.

We will no longer sell high capacity magazines.

We never have and never will sell bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.

What portion of Dick’s revenue comes from assault rifles? Less than a tenth of 1%? Less than a hundredth? A look at Dick’s inventory shows that it sells a huge number of popular products that clearly make up most of its sales: footwear and clothing; golf, football and baseball accessories; workout equipment; soccer equipment; snowboards; tennis rackets. Those are only a portion of Dick’s offerings. Dick’s also will continue to sell rifles, shoot guns and many types of ammunition.

Dick’s CEO, Edward Stack, also said the company supports a number of public initiatives, which include the following:

  • Ban assault-style firearms.
  • Raise the minimum age to purchase firearms to 21.
  • Ban high-capacity magazines and bump stocks.
  • Require universal background checks that include relevant mental health information and previous interactions with the law.
  • Ensure a complete universal database of those banned from buying firearms.
  • Close the private sale and gun show loophole that waives the necessity of background checks.

In the final analysis, the company’s “sacrifice” is tiny.

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