The Lumberjack

Restrict age limit on firearm and ammunition purchases

The Lodge section of a modern Dick's Sporting Goods store. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops should follow Dick’s and Walmart.

In the grieving shadow of the Parkland, Florida high school shooting, sporting goods company Dick’s Sporting Goods and large retailer Walmart have changed their sales policies and limitations on firearms and ammunition.

Soon after, Kroger, a supermarket chain, followed suit by changing policies for their Fred Meyer stores located across the U.S. Big retailers, such as Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop, should follow the lead of Dick’s, Walmart and Krogers.

“There are a total of over 160 Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops retail stores in the U.S. and Canada,” according to a Time magazine article. “These stores sell high-capacity magazines, which allow shooters to fire a higher number of rounds without needing to reload.”

This sort of reform and change is only powerful if everyone is on board and unified. If they don’t make efforts to change their policies, it will only be a matter of time before they become a primary seller to those who seek to use these weapons for senseless murders.

On a state legislative level, Florida is attempting to take the lead. According to Griffords Law Center, Hawaii and Illinois are the only states that have an age minimum of 21 for long guns or rifles. Other states have a minimum age of 18, and some even have a minimum of 16 years old.

The government on a federal and state level has continuously failed to implement change and gun reform that has a lasting improvement or effect on these massacres. Dick’s, Walmart and Krogers have done the right thing by taking it upon themselves to move things in the right direction with as much force as they can.

According to the New York Times, Florida passed a gun reform bill on March 7 that follows the lead of these stores by raising the age limit to purchase guns to 21, create a wait period for approval on background checks of up to three days and ban bump stocks.

In other states, some citizens are fighting back. A 20-year-old man from Oregon is suing Dick’s for raising the age limit.

According to CNBC, the man is suing for discrimination because Dick’s refused to sell him a rifle when Oregon law says residents may purchase shotguns or rifles at the age of 18.

Even California law dictates that residents must be 18 to purchase rifles, but must be 21 to purchase handguns. By changing their own policies, these businesses are taking change into their own hands, and the states should follow suit.

Granted, guns of all sorts are still available to buy at shows and private shops, including the AR-15, which is what was used in the Florida shooting. However, change is possible and must start somewhere.

If businesses make efforts to improve the way people are able to purchase guns, it will increase the possibility of better reform. All firearm retailers and states must follow suit or be part of the problem.