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Dick's Sporting Goods Finds Fans After Decision To Stop Selling Assault Rifles

GLENDALE — In response to the deadly massacre at a South Florida high school that rocked the nation two weeks ago, several large U.S. retailers announced a shift in their policies on gun purchases, and some local shoppers came out in full support of the changes.

Dick's Sporting Goods said Wednesday it would stop selling assault-style rifles in its stores, as well as high capacity ammunition magazines. Additionally, they will stop selling guns to anyone under 21 years of age.

The company's Chairman and CEO Edward Stack said in a statement Wednesday the gun used by gunman Nikolas Cruz during the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Fla. could have been one of theirs, since Cruz did buy a shotgun at a Dick's store in November. Seventeen people died in the Feb. 14 shooting.

At the Dick's in Glendale, one couple told CBS2 News they were fully in favor of the policy change, so much so they invested in the company.

"Yeah, Dick's!" screamed shopper Trish Sie as she kicked a foot up in the air. "We wanna support them. We actually bought stock in Dick's today. We bought like several thousand dollars of stock," she said.

"And we're here to buy camping gear, which we don't even need," the "Pitch Perfect 3" director continued.

Walmart also announced a change to their gun sale policy Wednesday, saying it would no longer sell guns or ammunition to people under the age of 21. They have not been selling assault-style rifles since 2015.

Not only are the changes good in terms of public relations in the current political climate, but the companies are hoping they're reflecting the views of their customers, said one expert.

"Corporations look at their key stakeholders, which include both their employees, as well as their consumers," Lindsey Bier of the University of Southern California's Marshall School of Business told CBS2.

She adds it can be risky for companies to take such stances, but that it sometimes matters to consumers how they approach controversial issues.

"It can be risky. However, the data indicate that, oftentimes, while Americans want to do business with corporations that align with their own political views, oftentimes they're not aware of the work or the stances that corporations are taking," said Bier.

For customers like Trish and Roo Sie, the announcement definitely jibed with their views.

"We're gonna take pictures in there of ourselves in front of, like, every Dick's sign we can find and posting it all over the internet. I don't think anybody cares what we do, but we're doing it anyway," said Trish.

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