BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - After the mass shooting in Newtown, CT, attention is now turning to guns sold in retail stores. Dick's Sporting Goods has chosen to take the type of gun used in that shooting off the shelves.
The retail chain is still selling certain types of semi-automatic rifles, but has chosen to take its assault style rifles off the shelves like the Bushmaster .223 caliber, which was selling for about for $800 at Dick's just last week. Customers have mixed reaction.
Joe Skobjak said, "I think it's a very good idea. They should've been banned a long time ago. [It's] just not necessary for people to have assault rifles."
Ann Parucki countered, "No, I don't think it'll make a difference at all because criminals...if you're evil or if somebody wants to commit a crime, they're going to steal them or that's how I believe it's going to happen."
The sale of AR-15s like the Bushmaster was banned between the years of 1994 and 2004, but that ban expired eight years ago and in NY State, as long as it doesn't have a clip capable of holding more than 10 rounds, it can be sold. S&S Taxidermy in Springville sold its last four AR-15s on Monday.
Gander Mountain in Tonawanda was still selling a different type of AR-15, and a salesman tells News 4 he expects to restock the Bushmasters soon.
Local Wal-Marts were not selling AR-15s in NYS, but in some states, even the Black Friday sale ad listed an assault weapon.
Dick's Sporting Goods officials wouldn't do an interview, but a salesman told News 4 the store wouldn't be selling assault-style weapons for the near future.
At Nick's Sporting Goods in North Buffalo, owner Roy Hryckowian had this reaction to Dick's decision:
"If that's what they want to do...I don't sell a lot of assault guns. Most of what I sell are to hunters. I have friends that have AR-15s, AK47s and they use them for target shooting and having fun with them. The gun isn't what's doing the damage, the person behind is what's doing the damage," Hryckowian said.
Dick's is still selling other semi-automatic rifles, just not the assault-style. The difference is mostly the way they look.
Assault-style weapons have a deadlier look to them and are capable of using clips that hold up to 30 rounds. But in NYS, you are only allowed to possess clips that hold 10 bullets or less. In Ohio, you can own a clip that holds 33 bullets. So even though the assault-style weapons sold in local stores look deadly, they don't shoot any more bullets any faster than guns that are still sold at Dick's.
Three days before the shooting, Adam Lanza tried to buy a gun at a Dick's Sporting Good store but didn't want to wait for the background check. Police say he ended up stealing his mother's guns.
A statement posted on Dick's website says sales of modern sporting rifles will be suspended during "this time of national mourning." The retail chain has more than 500 stores in 44 states.
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