October 23, 2014

Retailer stops sales of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines

A sporting goods store that started in Iowa has stopped selling rifles and handguns with high capacity magazines in response to the Connecticut Elementary school shooting tragedy. Jax Mercantile has one store in Ames and five in Colorado.

Store owner Jim Quinlan says he’s struggled with selling firearms that come with magazines that hold more than 10 rounds. He says after the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut he didn’t want any part in that business. “We’re not making a statement on anybody’s second amendment rights, we’re just making a decision as a company that this is not a product we want to stock, that’s all,” Quinlan says.

Jax Mercantile opened in Ames in 1955 under the name Ames Surplus. Quinlan says the majority of feedback to the decision has been positive. But, some shoppers swear they won’t visit the store again. “If they’re choosing to shop with us because we sell AR-15s and large capacity magazines, then I guess that’s a customer we won’t have any longer,” Quinlan says.

Most sportsmen, Quinlan notes, don’t have a need for guns that fire multiple rounds. “Once you’re out hunting, you don’t need a 50-round clip or 30-round clip,” Quinlan says. “Most sportsman use one bullet or maybe two bullets.”

Twenty-six people, including 20 children, were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut on December 14. Authorities say the shooter used an AR-15 rifle, which is classified as an assault-style weapon.