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Major retailers shifting gun sales policies

PUYALLUP, Wash. – The sporting goods store Dick’s announced on Wednesday its company will stop selling assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines.

But the company isn’t stopping there, they’re making more changes to how they sell firearms and who can buy them.

The company’s CEO says they will no longer sell firearms to anyone younger than 21 and will flat-out stop selling high-capacity magazines.

Customers in Puyallup had widely varying reactions – some believed the company is going soft, while others praised the change.

“I think it’s promising,” said Katrina Zoch. “I think people do need to take a stand on what they believe.”

Zoch and her son Ryan say firearms aren’t scary, they’re a family affair. Every year they hunt for sport and Ryan recently killed his first elk.

Dick’s Sporting Goods currently has 15 stores in our state, a dozen of them can be found in Western Washington.

The Zoch family says they’ll continue shopping at the chain after the change.

“We still go in there and look at their hunting (weapons) when duck season is on, we’re there looking at what they have,” said Katrina.

An informal poll on Q13 News' Facebook page illustrated the divide. By Wednesday afternoon, slightly more than half of nearly 3,000 votes don’t support Dick’s change in policy.

Some shoppers in Puyallup believe the company went too far.

“I can go to the store across the street,” said Jacob Moffitt.

“As a parent I agree,” said Johnathon Tatom. “Maybe it’s a little scary but I think it’s bullying and parenting is the issue, not selling guns.”

But the Zoch family believes the company is doing the right thing.

“Whether you make a few people mad and they don’t come in, maybe more people will come in because they agree with it,” said Katrina.

The company’s CEO is also calling on lawmakers to go further; asking for universal background checks, closing gun show loopholes and raising the minimum age nationally to buy firearms to 21.

Wednesday afternoon, Walmart revealed its stores would also change some policies regarding gun sales.

But for the Zoch family, it’s a bold step in the direction of making sure her kids aren’t faced with gun violence any time soon.

“It’s like enough is enough,” she said.