Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Walmart 'virtually' removes assault rifle from its site; Dick's Sporting Goods halts sales of 'modern sporting rifles'

Some time on Monday -- it's unclear when -- Walmart removed a listing for the Bushmaster Patrolman’s M4A3 Carbine from its website. While the assault rifle was not available for purchase online -- only at some of the retailers’ brick-and-mortar locations -- the website listing did include customer reviews.

The Bushmaster M4A3 is a variant of the Bushmaster M4 Type Carbine. The Patrolman's Carbine variant, according to Wikipedia, differs in that it features the more common removable "Bird Cage" flash suppressor, attached to a 16-inch barrel, which brings the total barrel length to 17.5-inches.

While Walmart continues to sell assault weapons, the nationwide chain Dick's Sporting Goods has stopped sales of what the company calls "modern sporting rifles" -- completely. It's unclear how long the sales ban will remain in place, but for now, a visit to the company's "modern sporting rifle" page brings up a blank image -- shown above -- before redirecting to the site's home page.

Dick's Sporting Goods has 500 stores in 44 states. A statement on the company's corporate website says:
We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community.

Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide.

We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy.
Ironically, some of the weapons removed from Dick's stores are reported to have been promoted during Black Friday sales.

Adam Lanza, 20, opened fired in Sandy Hook Elementary School Friday with a Bushmaster assault rifle. He also had two handguns and several high-capacity magazines.

He killed 20 children and six adults before killing himself. The weapons belonged to his mother, who was the first victim of his shooting rampage.



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