Age restrictions on gun sales are necessary moving forward

Hannah Woosley

Dick’s Sporting Goods, Walmart, Kroger and L.L. Bean are currently doing what lawmakers aren’t.

Dick’s Sporting Goods began what now looks like a chain-reaction to gun violence sweeping the United States. On Feb. 28, Dick’s released a statement announcing it will no longer sell assault-style rifles, high capacity magazines or guns to anyone under 21 years of age.

“We believe it’s time to do something about it,” said Dick’s in their statement. “It” referring to gun violence spreading throughout the U.S.

Dick’s said those words and actually acted on it – something our lawmakers have been afraid to do thus far.

Nike, a huge proponent of the University of Kentucky, which is sold at Dick’s, extended their contract with UK to run through 2025, according to the Portland Business Journal, receiving a $2.4 million bonus for the extension. UK’s response to Dicks’ initiative, and whether they will continue their contract after 2025 if Dick’s continues these regulations, will be one to look out for in the future.

The university has made no statement on Dick’s choice to limit gun sales to patrons 21 years or older.

A few hours after Dick’s statement, Walmart released a similar one. In the statement, Walmart announced it will no longer sell assault-style rifles or guns to anyone under 21 years of age.

The next day, Kroger’s Fred Meyer stores also released a statement that it will no longer sell guns to anyone under 21 years of age as well, making a note that assault-style rifles had already been pulled from their stores in the past.

L.L. Bean is the latest company to announce the limit of gun and ammunition sales to people 21 years of age or older.

All four companies cited the recent tragedies caused by guns and the intense reactions of the public – including the Parkland High School shooting survivors.

This is a start to a long process ahead, but Dick’s, Walmart, Kroger and L.L. Bean are leading the country to a safer, unworried entity. Children and adults die every year from senseless tragedies that involve guns in the hands of people who should not have been able to access one, like 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz.

As of recently, 2,539 people have died this year because of guns, according to the Gun Violence Archive, 587 of those deaths being children under the age of 17 – only 65 days into 2018. When is enough, enough?

The opposers to these companies’ new regulations state that these new policies will not work – that this is a waste of time and guns will fall into the hands of criminals no matter what. However, we have no proof of this statement to this day because legislation has yet to be tried.

Restricting the age limit to 21 years or older to purchase a gun or ammunition is a huge start to the direction future legislation should aim to protect our communities.

If the worst that could happen is the gun violence across the U.S. remains consistent after stricter gun laws and regulations, what is there to lose?