Gov. Andrew Cuomo praised Dick's Sporting Goods, a large retail chain that was founded in Binghamton, for its new gun policies that include no longer selling assault-style rifles in its stores.
Dick's Chairman and CEO Edward Stack announced the company's plans in a statement released Wednesday.
Stack said assault-style rifles were no longer sold at Dick's after the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. But the guns were still sold at 35 Field & Stream stores operated by the company. As of Wednesday, the assault-style rifles will no longer be sold at Field & Stream.
Other policies implemented by Dick's include no longer selling firearms to anyone under the age of 21 and ending sales of high capacity magazines.
Dick's has never sold bump stocks, which increase the firing speed of semi-automatic weapons. The company pledged to never sell the devices in its stores.
The announcement by Dick's follows the latest mass shooting in the U.S. Two weeks ago, a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Florida. Stack said the shooter purchased a gun at a Dick's store in November 2017, but it wasn't the gun he used in the shooting.
"We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens," Stack said. "But we have to help solve the problem that's in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that's taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids."
Stack outlined several proposals to address gun violence. He called for banning assault-style firearms and raising the minimum age to buy firearms to 21.
Under existing federal law, you must be 21 to buy handguns. But you only have to be 18 years old to buy a rifle or shotgun.
Banning high capacity magazines and bump stocks also made Stack's list of proposals. He also suggested universal background checks for gun purchases, a universal database with information about people who are banned from buying guns and ending the private sale and gun show loopholes that allow buyers to avoid background checks.
"Some will say these steps can't guarantee tragedies like Parkland will never happen again," Stack said. "They may be correct — but if common sense reform is enacted and even one life is saved, it will have been worth it."
Cuomo, who advocated for passage of gun control legislation in 2013, lauded Dick's for its decision to alter its gun sale policies.
"Founded in Binghamton, this New York-bred company is taking a principled stand and setting an example of responsible corporate leadership for businesses across the nation," he said.