The Boys Are Sticking Together

A few weeks back I shared a story about a national “sporting goods” retailer who was not only bending to the right wing, but they were also doing something worse — upsetting their bread-and-butter customers, the folks of the left.

What is a surprising development this week is that others in the hunting industry agree with me. There is a shock, we all agree on something and some companies are putting the hard-fought-for beliefs that Americans have given their lives for for hundreds of years in front of the popular belief.

Earlier this week information came across my desk regarding Dick’s Sporting Goods. It had to do with another company that is distancing itself from Dick’s and Field & Stream. That American company is Mossberg.

Mossberg has been around for 99 years. In fact one of my first guns was a Mossberg 500. Mossberg traditionally has been known for price-point shotguns. As of late, they have expanded into the field of rifles. For me there is no better value for the dollar than a Mossberg. In fact, my turkey gun is a Mossberg 835. It has allowed me to tag more turkeys than any other gun I have ever carried into the field.

While not as popular as other national brands, Mossberg has stayed the course and builds guns for everyday Americans.

Getting back to Dick’s/Field & Stream, it appears that the well is beginning to run dry for those consumers who still planned to purchase their firearms from Field & Stream or Dick’s Sporting Goods. While it’s no secret that Dick’s and Field & Stream have many consumers who will continue to shop at these stores for other sporting goods and outdoor equipment, the options in the firearm section appear to be shrinking. Sometime in the not-too-distant future they ought to just say they are a jock-and-sock shop instead of hunting store.

Here is how it all unfolded, according to a press release issued by Mossberg.

Mossberg & Sons, Inc., a leading American firearms manufacturer, announced this week its decision to discontinue selling products to Dick’s Sporting Goods, and its subsidiary, Field & Stream, in response to their hiring of gun-control lobbyists in April 2018.

Effective immediately, O.F. Mossberg & Sons will not accept any future orders from Dick’s Sporting Goods or Field & Stream and is in the process of evaluating current contractual agreements.

“It has come to our attention that Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired lobbyists on Capitol Hill to promote additional gun control.” said Iver Mossberg, chief executive officer of O.F. Mossberg & Sons. “Make no mistake, Mossberg is a staunch supporter of the U.S. Constitution and our Second Amendment rights, and we fully disagree with Dick’s Sporting Goods’ recent anti-Second Amendment actions.”

Founded in 1919, O.F. Mossberg & Sons, Inc. is the oldest family-owned firearms manufacturer in America and is the largest pump-action shotgun manufacturer in the world. Leading the way with over 100 design and utility patents to its credit and standing as the first ISO 9001 Certified long-gun manufacturer, Mossberg is considered to be one of the most innovative firearms manufacturers in U.S. History.

It looks as though more and more pro-Second Amendment and firearm manufacturers are abandoning ship and saying a fond farewell to the Pittsburgh-based Dick’s Sporting Goods for good.

In a statement last week, the NSSF, a trade association for the firearms industry, said the final straw was when Dick’s recently hired Washington, D.C.-based pro-gun control lobbyists:

“The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industries, board of Governors unanimously voted to expel Dick’s Sporting Goods from membership for conduct detrimental to the best interests of the Foundation.

Dick’s Sporting Goods recently hired a Washington D.C.-based government affairs firm for “lobbying related to gun control.” Dick’s Sporting Goods CEO Edward W. Stack announced earlier this year the retail chain would end sales of modern sporting rifles, voluntarily raise the age to 21 to purchase firearms in their stores and called for more restrictive legislation. Dick’s later announced they would destroy the remaining modern sporting rifle inventory. NSSF responded that business decisions should be individually made but was nonetheless disappointed and the decision does not reflect the reality of the vast majority of law-abiding gun owners.”

The NSSF sponsors the annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. That gathering features 13-plus miles of aisles of firearms and firearm accessories from manufacturers around the world.

The NSSF isn’t alone in this endeavor, however.

Adding to the list Springfield Armory has also issued a statement announcing its end of relations with Dick’s Sporting Goods.

“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.

“This latest action follows Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision to remove and destroy all modern sporting rifles 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.”

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. Their position runs counter to what we stand for as a company. At Springfield Armory, we believe in the right 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.

OK folks, the story continues. We will see how many other hunting companies refuse to do business with a company that is so brazen in its attack on the Second Amendment. I know there are small companies that are standing their ground and refusing to do business with Dick’s/Field & Stream. From game-call companies to accessories to stands and blinds to ammunition companies, big and small the boys are standing arm and arm on principle that if you can’t support the Second Amendment we — when I say we, I am included — don’t want to do business with you.

As a business owner, making the call to stop doing business with another business for whatever reason is a difficult one but there is a time when these decisions need to be made and are bigger than orders that need to be filled.

This isn’t the first time that the industry has stood shoulder to shoulder to defend the Second Amendment and principles. It was a few years ago that an employee for one of the biggest sports shows in the world in Harrisburg made a few statements and decisions that kept firearm companies out of the show that they had attended for years. What followed was a groundswell of support. Companies started canceling their booth space. Now, remember, this is one of the biggest and best sporting shows in the world and many companies make their profits the first week of February every year in Harrisburg.

Pulling out of this show was another difficult decision for big and small businesses alike, but we stuck together for the greater good.

What happened was the show was not held that year and the promoter is out of business. The city of Harrisburg lost millions of dollars in needed money for roads, schools, public transportation and the like. That one decision affected thousands of folks and cost millions of dollars.

I am not saying that this is the case in the Dick’s/Field & Stream decision, but one never knows.