LL Bean, REI Join 'Sea Change' on Gun Sales

Outdoor companies are latest to act after shooting in Florida
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 2, 2018 9:38 AM CST
LL Bean Joins Walmart, Dick's: We're Changing Gun Sales, Too
In this Feb. 2, 2018, file photo, customers leave the LL Bean retail store in Freeport, Maine.   (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

Dick's, Walmart, and Kroger have all tightened their rules regarding gun sales since the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and now a fourth major retailer has joined their ranks. A "superfan" on Twitter Thursday night implored the outdoor-recreation retailer to not sell guns to anyone under 21, and LL Bean replied to what Business Insider calls "a sea change in customers' expectations of retailers that sell guns." "In the wake of this shooting we have reviewed our policy on firearm sales, and we will no longer be selling guns or ammunition to anyone under the age of 21," the company tweeted. CNNMoney notes that of its 37 stores spread across the country, LL Bean was only licensed to sell firearms out of its home-base location in Freeport, Maine. It doesn't offer ammo or hunting rifles on its website.

Other outdoor retailers are going further, per the Washington Post. Although REI and Mountain Equipment Co-Op don't sell guns or ammo, they decided to turn the screws on Vista Outdoor, the parent company of brands (including CamelBak and Giro) that both REI and MEC sell in their stores. Vista Outdoor has lucrative firearms and ammunition brands under its umbrella, as well as ties to the NRA: It regularly claims a booth at the NRA's annual gun show. Both REI and MEC heard from customers and announced they would stop ordering Vista products, at least temporarily. "We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions," REI said in a statement. MEC chief David Labistour wrote in an open letter he hopes customers will find decision to be "balanced and considered." (More gun control stories.)

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