Springfield Armory, a major manufacturer of handguns and rifles, announced on Thursday that it was severing all ties with Dick’s Sporting Goods following reports that the retailer had retained three lobbyists to push Congress to restrict the Second Amendment. The hiring of multiple gun control lobbyists by Dick’s was first reported by The Federalist on Wednesday.
“Springfield Armory is severing ties with Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring a group for anti-Second Amendment lobbying,” the maker of the popular XD, XDS, and XDm semi-automatic handgun lines wrote on its Facebook page. “This latest action follows Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to remove and destroy all modern sporting rifles (MSR) from their inventory.”
“In addition, they have denied Second Amendment rights to Americans under the age of 21. We at Springfield Armory believe that all law abiding American citizens of adult age are guaranteed this sacred right under our Constitution.”
The hiring of multiple lobbyists to focus exclusively on gun control followed announcements by Dick’s that it would not only stop selling modern sporting rifles, but that it would entirely destroy its existing inventory of those rifles rather than sell them back to the manufacturers. An investigation by The Federalist, however, suggests that the actions of Dick’s Sporting Goods, which also owns Field & Stream stores throughout the country, may not match the corporation’s rhetoric.
Calls to nearly half a dozen Field & Stream stores throughout the country confirmed that the retailer is still actively selling the popular Ruger Mini-14, a semi-automatic rifle that is chambered in 5.56/.223, despite the new policy from Dick’s banning the sales of such rifles. Multiple stores, which are subsidiaries of Dick’s, reported that they had the rifle in stock, while others expressed a willingness to special order the rifle despite not having one currently on the shelves. The rifle retails for approximately $900.
Springfield is the first major gunmaker to publicly sever all ties with Dick’s over its anti-Second Amendment stance.
“It is clear where Dick’s Sporting Goods and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, stand on the Second Amendment, and we want to be clear about our message in response,” the company wrote. “At Springfield Armory, we believe in the rights and principles fought for and secured by American patriots and our founding forefathers, without question.”
“We will not accept Dick’s Sporting Goods’ continued attempts to deny Second Amendment freedoms to our fellow Americans,” Springfield concluded.
Springfield Armory was founded by order of George Washington in 1777 to store artillery and ammo to help Americans fight for independence in the Revolutionary War. Springfield Armory manufactured its first guns in 1794, and its name was eventually licensed for private use in 1974 after the U.S. government officially closed the armory six years earlier.