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Friday, March 2, 2018

Two Richmond Area Gun Stores Have Long Standing Policy to Not Sell AR Rifles to Buyers Under 18

I received an email from a VSSA member yesterday informing me that two local firearm retailers had a long standing policy of not selling AR style rifles to buyers under 21.  This was news to me so I did a quick search and sure enough I found this report from WRIC TV 8 where they decided to ask a couple of local gun stores their thoughts on the announcement by Dick's Sporting Goods to stop selling firearms to anyone under the age of 21, including shotguns and all rifles, in their stores.  It should be noted that Dick's only sold AR style rifles in their Field and Stream branded stores.  They haven't sold them in the main chain since the Sandy Hook school shooting.  Anyway, it turns out that Greentop, the retailer that sells more firearms than any other gun store in Virginia, and Bob Moate's Sport Shop in Chesterfield both have long standing policies of not selling AR style rifles to buyers under 21.  First David Hancock from Bob Moate's:
Hancock says they don’t sell any assault-style weapons to anyone under 21. He says it’s a policy they’ve had for years. Hancock says they believe there needs to be a maturity level to own something like an AR-15.

Hancock says while some of their younger customers haven’t done anything illegal with them, they’ve made questionable decisions.

“We’ve had people go out and handle them a little more recklessly than we’d like to see,” said Hancock.
Next up was CEO Blaine Altaffer of Greentop:
8News also reached out to Green Top Hunting and Fishing. While they declined to weigh in on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ decision, CEO Blaine Altaffer says his store will not sell assault-style rifles to anyone under 21. He says they have had that policy for decades.
I'm wondering how many other people knew that both Greentop and Bob Moate's had this policy.

Since Dick's made their announcement, other retailers also have made similar announcements including Walmart, which said they will not sell firearms or ammo to anyone under 21, and Kroger (I know, who knew Kroger sold guns - apparently they do in Fred Myer branded stores in western states).  L.L. Bean has also announced they would no longer sell guns and ammo to anyone under the age of 21.

Those pushing to end rifle sales to buyers under 21 cite the current ban on purchasing pistols to that age group.  But if the goal is to prevent mass shootings, it would appear they are aiming for the wrong age group.  The average age of those who have committed a mass murder with a firearm is 35.  But, this isn't really about preventing these incidents, it's about appearing to "do something" which never makes for good policy.

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