A major Canadian outdoor retail chain said Thursday it will stop selling products from a USA company that manufactures guns and ammunition. Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS) stopped the sale of assault-style guns altogether, and banned the sale of high-capacity magazines along with the sale of weapons to those under 21.
The mass shooting spurred a debate on USA gun control and it has now spilled across the border into Canada, where more than 50,000 people signed an online petition urging MEC, which has over five million members, to sever ties with US gunmakers.
After hearing from thousands of its members, Vancouver-based Mountain Equipment Co-op has agreed to drop products from brands owned by an American gun manufacturer. Savage Arms in turn makes several types of rifle including modern semi-automatic sporting rifles invariably mislabelled as an "assault rifle".
Citing calls for boycotts of its products, CamelBak said its brand "falls within the Outdoor Products segment of our company, which operates separately from Vista Outdoor's Shooting Sports segment".
REI did so after it learned that Vista, a maker of guns and ammunition, has no plans to join the discussion about how to reduce gun-inflicted deaths, according to a statement posted on the REI website.
US -based REI, which stocks several Vista brands, has also put orders on hold.
"Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead".
"If you start thinking about the global supply chain, every one of us is involved in something that is against our values: If it's not Vista, maybe you're connected to someone who designs logos for one of Vista's brands", Gupta said.
Vancouver-based MEC announced Thursday morning its stores will stop using the USA company as a supplier.
Some people aired their concerns on the company's Twitter and Facebook pages, asking it to stop selling Vista-owned brands. The petition garnered more than 18,500 signatures as of Friday.
The Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) chain says it will no longer carry Vista Outdoor products, . And on Wednesday, Walmart announced it would not sell firearms or ammunition to people under 21 years old.
In this case, he said, REI's sales had been shown to be just a step removed from the gun industry.
For now, REI and MEC will stop ordering CamelBak and other products from Vista Outdoor.
"The reality is to gather all the facts and to reach a considered decision it takes more than the speed of a tweet", he said.
Labistour, a military veteran, said he identifies with both sides of the gun debate, but ultimately leaned in favor of the portion of MEC's 5.5 million members opposed to Vista brands, saying, "I believe that engagement is the path to change, as tough as it might be". Canadian Tire sells ammunition from Vista Outdoor's Savage Arms and Sport Check sells products such as bike and ski helmets from Vista Outdoor's Giro and Bell. So far, Vista has remained silent on the topic of gun control and did not respond to Outside's request for comment.
Mr. Labistour, as a long-time MEC member for over thirty five years, I am extremely disappointed and saddened with this decision.
Millions of Canadians hunt and sport shoot safely every day, multi millions more enjoy the use of products like Bushnell, Bolle and Camelbak while simply partaking in outdoor adventure activities.