Two outdoor retailers stall orders with Vista Outdoor over guns


"My responsibility as CEO is to ensure that we make thoughtful, informed decisions in the best interest of our Co-op and effect change where this is possible and consistent with our presence in the marketplace", CEO David Labistour says in a statement to members.

Late Thursday, REI issued a statement noting that while it does not sell guns, it expects companies that do to help prevent mass shootings.

For the sake of transparency, Monopoint Media, a company that previously shared resources with GearJunkie, worked with Vista Outdoor on a project in 2015.

Outdoor retailer REI has "halted" orders from Vista Outdoor brands over connections to firearms and ammunition companies.

After also hearing from members, Mountain Equipment Co-op, a Canadian outdoors equipment retailer akin to REI, said it would also stop ordering products from Vista, which in addition to firearms makes a range of products among its roughly 50 brands.

Vista, an outdoor products conglomerate that sells everything from semi-automatic rifles to children's bicycle helmets, has dozens of brands, many of which are sold through retail chains.

CamelBak posted a similar message. Vista did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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REI made a decision to disassociate itself from the popular brands since they are owned by Vista Outdoor, a company that also owns Savage Arms, a firearm and assault-style rifle manufacturer.

REI's decision came the same day Canadian retailer MEC also chose to stop carrying Vista Outdoor brands. "When people saw the opportunity to speak up and to engage the organization that they are a member of, they took that opportunity and the outcome is what was desired, which is just incredible". "As a result, we have made a decision to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds".

As of this morning, Vista Outdoor stock was down more than 10 percent.

REI said it has been in "active discussions" with Vista this week. Major U.S retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Dicks Sporting Goods have raised the minimum age for gun and ammunition purchases to 21. On Wednesday, Dick's Sporting Goods announced that it will stop selling assault-style rifles in its 35 field and stream stores (Dick's had stopped carrying that style of gun in its other stores in 2012, after the Sandy Hook shooting).

Last week other United States companies, including airlines, insurers and auto rental chains, said they were ending promotions with the National Rifle Association lobbying group, revealing a partial shift in U.S. gun politics amid fervent student-led activism and intense social media campaigns. That year, Vista Outdoor paid US$400-million for CamelBak, as it tried to diversify away from guns and ammo.

Citing calls for boycotts of its products, CamelBak said its brand "falls within the Outdoor Products segment of our company, which operates separately from Vista Outdoor's Shooting Sports segment". Camelbak and Giro have also sought to put some daylight between itself and Vista.