Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods raising minimum age for all gun sales to 21

Byby Kate Larsen KGO logo
Thursday, March 1, 2018
Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods raising minimum age for all gun sales to 21
Mega-retailer Walmart released a new policy. They are raising the minimum age to purchase guns to 21.

AMERICAN CANYON, Calif. (KGO) -- Two weeks after the deadly shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida where 17 people were killed, two big corporations are taking gun control into their own hands.

Wednesday morning, Dick's Sporting Goods announced it would no longer sell assault weapons, and not sell guns to anyone under 21. Late Wednesday afternoon, Walmart followed suit.

RELATED: How companies cut ties, changed policies since Florida shooting

First, the CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods told George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America, that after the school shooting in Florida, he felt he needed to. "We were so disturbed and saddened by what happened, we felt we really needed to do something," said Ed Stack who explained that Dick's already removed assault-style rifles from all their stores following the Sandy Hook shooting in 2012, but now they are removing those weapons from their 35 Field and Stream stores.

They will also no longer sell high-capacity magazines or any gun to anyone under 21 years of age. Stack acknowledged that this may not be a popular decision everywhere saying, "we know this isn't going to make everyone happy."

Both companies now require that any gun buyer be at least 21 years old, even though federal law allows 18-year-olds to buy semi-automatic rifles.

"Shotgun shells, you name it. We have pretty much everything," said Elaine Norman, a manager of Walmart's American Canyon location.

Walmart does not sell guns in California, but Norman's location does sell ammunition. She says currently, the policy at her store is that you must be 21 or older to buy ammunition. Walmart's new policy as of Wednesday extends that to stores across the country.

"It should have been in effect a long time ago," Norman told ABC7 News.

"I got three kids and I'm always thinking that something could happen to them," said Claudio Castro of Concord.

Still, many parents think gun policies and laws need to go further.

RELATED: Palo Alto students rally in support of tighter gun control

"They have to do more testing, more background checking and psychological tests," Castro added.

Walmart stopped selling AR-15s in 2015 and Dick's Sporting Goods stopped selling assault-style rifles in 2012.

Click here to read Walmart's full statement on their new gun policy.