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L.L.Bean, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Take Stand Against Gun Policies

L.L.Bean, REI, Mountain Equipment Co-Op Take Stand Against Gun Policies

L.L.Bean is joining the list of retailers changing its firearm sale policies in the wake of the mass shooting in Parkland, Fla. in February. The outdoor gear retailer will raise the minimum age to purchase firearms and ammunition in its flagship store from 18 to 21, following in the footsteps of DICK’S Sporting Goods, Walmart and Fred Meyer. The Freeport, Maine store is the only L.L.Bean location that sells firearms.

The retailer does not sell assault-style firearms, high-capacity firearms, bump stocks or handguns.

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Meanwhile, REI and Mountain Equipment Co-Op both have suspended their relationships with Vista Outdoor, a designer and manufacturer of outdoor sports and recreation products, until Vista reconsiders its policies for its firearm brands. Vista Outdoor manufactures products such as CamelBak water bottles, Bell bicycle helmets and Giro ski goggles, but also owns brands that manufacture firearms and ammunitions.

REI said in a statement that it was Vista’s silence on gun reform that led the retailer to stop selling those products indefinitely.

“REI does not sell guns. We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month,” REI said in a statement. “In the last few days, we’ve seen such action from companies like DICK’S Sporting Goods and Walmart and we applaud their leadership…This morning we learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action. As a result, we have decided to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds.”

The move by REI and Mountain Equipment Co-Op represents a new phase in corporate reaction to this issue. These brands are seeking to combat gun violence not just by restricting access to firearms, but by pressuring suppliers and other trading partners — companies that generally have a lower public profile than retailers — to make their own stances on the issue clear.

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