Friday, 20 July, 2018

REI stops ordering products made by company that also makes guns

REI stops ordering products made by company that also makes guns REI stops ordering products made by company that also makes guns
Nellie Chapman | 03 March, 2018, 02:50

"To meet the diverse interests of Canadians, we always consider product mix, assortment and customer preference when determining what products are sold in our stores".

The retailer was responding to the outcry over a Valentine's Day Florida school shooting that saw a 19-ear-old kill 17 people.

The Vancouver-based company has been facing pressure to stop carrying brands owned by Vista Outdoor, a Utah-based gun and ammunition company.

Farmington-based Vista Outdoor owns about 50 gear brands, ranging from Camelbak hydration packs to Bolle sunglasses and Camp Chef outdoor cooking equipment.

The feedback so far has unsurprisingly been mixed, but Labistour maintains that MEC's decision today is balanced. MEC made its decision to distance themselves from Vista after hearing from thousands of its members, concerned over the latest school shooting on February 14 in Florida. With this in mind, we have taken time to listen to our members' views, consult internally and reach out to others in our industry. As we drive to make positive change, it is our hope that you stand by our almost 30-year reputation as we maintain our promise to obsess on what we make, how we make it, and the way it impacts people's lives and the environment. We are in the midst of a complex and highly charged debate with as many opinions as there are people expressing them. "I include myself in that community".

Labistour continues on to say he comes from a rural area where hunting was commonplace and has served in the military, therefore understands both sides of the debate. At the same time, my personal experience has taught me about the power of engagement.

"Citizen engagement matters, and is a powerful and effective tool for positive social change", wrote Sarah Latha, the MEC member who started the petition. Since 1989, CamelBak has been committed to forever changing the way people hydrate and perform.

What's your response to a move like this from MEC?

This decision was announced in an open letter from MEC's CEO David Labistour. Please go ahead and cancel my membership.

Vista Outdoor brands are widely sold in places such as Costco and Walmart. This came in the wake of several other major gun-related policy changes in the past week. MEC is a co-operative that sells only to customers who hold a lifetime membership, which is technically a share of the company. I'll be showing my appreciation for the decision to cut ties with @SavageArms and @VistaOutdoorInc in the only way I can $$$.

US -based REI, which stocks several Vista brands, has also put orders on hold.

"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 says. "We encourage Vista to do just that", the statement read.

Last week other USA companies, including airlines, insurers and vehicle rental chains, said they were ending promotions with the National Rifle Association lobbying group, revealing a partial shift in United States gun politics amid fervent student-led activism and intense social media campaigns.