PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In Newtown, Conn., tiny coffins and broken hearts have been seared into the national consciousness.
In recognizing the unspeakable tragedy, Dick’s Sporting Goods has issued this statement:
“Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning, we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and are suspending the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.”
All that’s doing is prohibiting the people that use the guns properly, for the right reasons, from buying their guns,” says Sue Rzpecki of South Fayette.
At Dick’s national headquarters in Findlay Township, the flag is flying at half-staff.
With 511 stores in 44 states, the major sports retailer is declining to answer any questions regarding the new policy. It’s not clear if the suspension of semi-automatic rifle sales is temporary or permanent.
One of the weapons used in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting was a Bushmaster AR-15-style rifle, a civilian version of the military M-16.
Phone lines are being jammed at Dick’s from customers both for and against the announcement. So far, most appear to be in favor.
“I’m a hunter,” say Rich Murawski, of Robinson. “I have hunting rifles. I don’t see how you need semiautomatic weapons for anything.”
Brenda Kantola, of Latrobe sees it this way: “I don’t like that there’s so much access to guns. I think they get into the wrong hands.”
In 1994, President Bill Clinton signed the last ban on certain semiautomatic weapons.
The Federal Assault Weapons ban prohibited 18 specific models, along with the manufacture of high-capacity ammunition magazines of more than 10 rounds. The ban was allowed to expire 10 years later.
Steve Dundas, of McDonald, has his own views.
“I think if more people carried concealment permits and had weapons on them, that things like what happened in Connecticut, wouldn’t happen,” he said.