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Conservative shareholder grills Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO for ‘corporate virtue signaling’ on guns

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DCNFMolly Prince, DCNF

An investor confronted the CEO of Dick’s Sporting Goods on Wednesday at the annual shareholders meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, blasting the retailer’s recent anti-gun advocacy.

David Almasi, a vice president at the National Center for Public Policy Research, attended the meeting representing the think tank’s Free Enterprise Project, according to Fox Business. Almasi accused CEO Edward Stack of violating fiduciary duties by knowingly and purposely giving up money.

“[Dick’s] has damaged its reputation by lending its voice and its resources to those who want to abolish the Second Amendment,” Almasi told Stack. “30 percent of American adults own guns, and another 11 percent live with someone who does. You’ve now alienated them.”

Dick’s made various policy changes after a school shooting in Parkland, Florida, in February left 17 dead. The company announced it would no longer sell modern sporting rifles or high-capacity magazines. It also increases the purchase age for all firearms to 21, which Almasi pointed out is three years after people are eligible for military service.

The company also hired anti-gun lobbyists to promote gun restrictions, despite saying it still supports the Second Amendment.

Almasi identified multiple statements Stack made acknowledging that the anti-gun policies have hurt business. “Sales are so anemic and relations with gun manufacturers such as Mossberg so poor right now that you’ve even indicated Dick’s might get out the gun business entirely,” Almasi explained. “Meanwhile, Sportsman’s Warehouse reports that their gun sales and net sales were up 15 percent during the first quarter. That company credits consumer backlash against companies such as Dick’s as partially responsible for its success.”

Stack responded by doubling down on the decision noting, “We will not be changing our position.”

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