Two major outdoor retailers have cut ties with a large outdoor sporting goods company due to its connections to the National Rifle Association (NRA), as well as its production of assault-style weapons in the wake of last month’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
REI, a large outdoor recreation co-op, said it would place a hold on orders from Vista Outdoor following last month’s shooting.
On Thursday, the company posted a statement on its website:
“REI does not sell guns. We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month. In the last few days, we’ve seen such action from companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart and we applaud their leadership. This morning we learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action. As a result, we have decided to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds.”
A smaller outdoor recreation co-op, Mountain Equipment Co-op of Canada, was the first to announce it was cutting ties with Vista.
Vista owns several top outdoor recreation brands, such as CamelBak, Giro, and Bell.
The company has a “shooting sports” division, which sells a line of semi-automatic rifles, ammunition, and other gun accessories.
According to The Washington Post, its shooting brands include Federal Premium Ammunition, which sponsors the NRA’s online video channel, NRATV.
Vista has also been a prominent vendor at the NRA’s annual gun show.
REI’s statement came after thousands of REI members signed an online petition calling on the company to sever ties with Vista.
The two companies join several other retailers taking action following the deadly mass shooting.
Earlier this week, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell assault-style weapons.
Walmart, Kroger, and L.L. Bean have also announced that they would raise the minimum age for gun purchases from 18 years of age to 21.
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Credit: The Hill