“It is not our role to take positions, or attempt to shape or influence the gun control policy debate,” the firm said. “That is the job of our federal and state legislators.”
Meanwhile, Dick’s Sporting Goods Inc. suspended sales of all “modern sporting rifles,” the industry term for military-style guns. The company also removed all guns from display at its store closest to Newtown.
Dick’s has not promoted military-style guns as much as some other retailers. Its circular distributed in newspapers on Sunday had a full page of hunting rifles, but no military-style ones.
By contrast, St. Paul-based retailer Gander Mountain featured a Black Rain Ordnance Inc. PG9, a military-style semiautomatic rifle, for $2,000. Other military-style guns were featured throughout, including several from Bushmaster. Such advertisements are generally printed well in advance, and so would have been prepared before Friday’s shooting.
A Gander Mountain spokesman declined to comment on whether it would change its gun lineup.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which sells Bushmaster rifles in some stores, said it would not change the guns it sells, although a Bushmaster rifle that it still sells stopped showing up on its website Tuesday.
All the talk about additional gun control appeared to be driving increased gun sales, though. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation said it received a record 4,154 requests for background checks on Saturday, the day after the shooting.
That was slightly more than on its normal biggest day, Black Friday.
Bob Irwin, CEO of The Gun Store in Las Vegas, said customer traffic has jumped since the school shooting, with many customers concerned that more gun laws will be enacted. He has not pulled any guns from the shelf.
“My belief is the individual nutcase did this,” he said. “The company that manufactured the gun didn’t. That seems silly to deprive my normal customers of product because somebody misused a product from the same company. I can’t really get my head around that being the rational reaction.”
He agreed that the Connecticut attack demanded some kind of action. He suggested adding more security officers at schools.
Shares in publicly-traded gun makers dropped for a third-straight day.
Shares of Sturm, Ruger & Co. dropped 7.7 percent to close at $40.60. They’re down almost 11 percent since Thursday, the day before the shooting. Shares of Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. fell 10 percent to $7.79 — down almost 15 percent from their Thursday close.
Outdoor goods retailer Cabela’s Inc. fell almost 6 percent to close at $38.77.