Anyone Had an Issue with Dick’s Sporting Goods?

From PAFOA, it would seem that they are enforcing New Jersey law over here in Pennsylvania. Some of our club members had an issue with Dicks in the same vein a while back, and they clarified this was not their policy. But it seems they are doing it again. Dicks is under no obligation to enforce New Jersey law outside of New Jersey. They are under obligation to obey federal law, but federal law only demands the person be 18 for “rifle or shotgun ammunition” and 21 for “handgun ammunition.” That might justify a license check, at most.

So the question them becomes why Dick’s is enforcing New Jersey law in Pennsylvania? The only thing I can figure is their corporate General Counsel is paranoid. But is his paranoia justified? This is New Jersey we’re talking about. Since Dick’s holds a license from the State of New Jersey for dealing in firearms and ammunition, I suspect the concern is that New Jersey authorities could dick with their license (no pun intended) if the powers that be become upset with their policies. It’s worth noting that dealer licenses in New Jersey are comparatively may-issue compared to other jurisdictions. A license can be revoked or denied if the State Police feel the dealer would “pose a danger to the public health, safety or welfare.”

But I’m not aware of any other big box retailers, like Wal-Mart being concerned enough to card New Jersey residents. But Wal-Mart wields a bigger stick than a smaller retailer like Dick’s. Has anyone else noticed this problem with retailers? I make a policy to buy ammo from sources that are known to support gun rights. Dick’s is not among them.

27 thoughts on “Anyone Had an Issue with Dick’s Sporting Goods?”

  1. My big issues with Dicks are twofold:

    First, I once went to not even thinking about it on a work computer. Ooops. I think they own that domain now. But they didn’t then. Made for a very uncomfortable conversation with the office manager.

    Second, when they purchased the Galyans Chain here in Virginia they not only stopped operating the rock climbing wall (apparently for insurance reasons) but they also got rid of the extensive handgun selection. They still sell rifles, but its a pretty poor selection, and they don’t carry much in the way of handgun ammo these days. Though the $29 hang on tree stands are great.

    1. For a while, “” was like that too. Since “” *is* the valid site, I think I made that mistake twice. Fortunately, it’s my understanding that both take you to the Python Computer Language website now.

  2. I guess like you said NJ government has the power to revoke any and all licenses in their state if Dick’s doesn’t do what they want in our state. If that’s the case, you can hardly blame Dick’s for trying to keep the NJ market open to them. I just wonder if the case can be made for federal intervention on commerce clause grounds……

    And on a slightly related note, I wonder how much money I could make selling 30rd AR mags if I set up a roadside stand immeduately on this side if the PA/NY or PA/NJ border ;).

  3. This is why you carry your passport for ID, and tell them that is all you have. One more thing, Walmart prices beat dick’s all day everyday. Dick’s may even be more expensive than Cabelas.

    1. <Dick’s may even be more expensive than Cabelas

      True dat. I only go there as a last resort. There’s both a Dicks (the aforementioned Former Galyans) and a WalMart within 5 minutes of the NRA HQ range. Walmart beats them on price hands down. But Dicks has more in the way of scents, and climbing stands. Plus, if I buy stuff there my wife doesn’t know if its gun stuff for me, or baseball stuff for my son.

      But as a rule, I don’t prefer to shop there.

  4. Well, they are required to follow applicable state laws under the terms of the FFL. Usually that means for gun sales, but maybe it applies to ammo too? (Dealers are still subject to limits on ammo sales, FOPA didn’t get rid of everything.)

  5. And for whatever reason, I can’t buy ammo at any Wal Mart inside city limits. Dick’s sells ammo at Franklin Mills, and they’re right next door to a Wal Mart that does not stock any ammo.

  6. If this happened to me I would first contact a manager to confirm the clerk’s decision.
    At one time or another, I have had problems with cashiers and salespersons at just about every damn chain store I’ve dealt with. Invariably, if I was right, a manager straightened things out — but from his/her post, there is no indication that that step was taken before trashing Dicks on the Internet.
    These kind of posts are one reason I avoid that site.
    That being said, on more than one occasion, Dick’s cashiers have overcharged me on case lots of shotgun shells (which managers reversed) which sell at an advertised discount from single boxes.
    Always check your receipts.

  7. At least one Dick’s store in CT has a policy of not selling firearms to out-of-staters. (I was so informed by an employee of the store.)

  8. On my way back to Pennsylvania from Connecticut about two years ago, I once stopped off at a Dick’s Sporting Goods location near to exit 9 of the New Jersey Turnpike – I think the township was East Brunswick, New Jersey. I only wanted to buy one box of the Wolf Military Classic in 7.62mmx39mm, being that at this time in 2009, it was rather difficult to buy just a single box of this ammunition and many other types in any of the stores that I frequented over in Pennsylvania.

    This Dick’s employee kid there at this New Jersey location refused to sell me this box of 7.62mmx39mm rifle ammunition by claiming that I had to have a New Jersey firearms ID card to buy any ammunition. I then told him that he was wrong; I was not a New Jersey resident, and that the New Jersey firearms ID card requisite only applies to handgun ammunition sales in New Jersey. I also mentioned that I had previously bought a box of Remington 7.62mmx39mm at another Dick’s Sporting Goods location in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, on three previous occasions.

    The Dick’s Sporting Goods employee kid then said something or another that made not much sense to me at all – I cannot really remember it now. I then pointed out to this kid that New Jersey residents cannot even legally own most of the rifles chambered for 7.62mmx39mm – rifles of the Kalashnikov type design, that is – and that all of those multiple boxes of 7.62mmx39mm which I could see on the shelf behind this kid were probably just going to sit there and gather dust, instead of being purchased by Pennsylvania residents, and residents of other states where the Second Amendment is actually regarded as meaning precisely what it has said all along for the last 200 plus years.

    The Dick’s Sporting Goods employee kid had nothing but this downright stupid expression on his face by this point, so I just turned tail and marched right the hell out of that place. I have avoided Dick’s Sporting Goods ever since then.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods sucks – there, I said it.

    New Jersey sucks too – there, I said it – again.

  9. They bought out Galyan’s here, stopped selling handguns or handgun ammunition (and most of the clothes; Galyans was better then gander Mountain, even), and when my ex (not at the time) bought a little .22 rifle and ammo for it at the same time, the employees wouldn’t let him touch either until two of them had walked him out of the store. He never went back. I never went there at all.

  10. I work in a pretty strict shop in Filthy…we do not sell firearms at all to Jersey residents (well he does not do out of state sales at all except to another FFL). But even my boss doesn’t deny them rifle or shotgun ammo.

    That said, Dick’s never seems to have anything I want at a price I’m willing to pay.

  11. The last time I went to Dick’s in Easton, PA to buy 12GA slugs they were out of stock. So I headed up to Sports Authority to get some, walked up to the register to buy them and was asked for ID. I asked why, since I am over 40 and look it, and I was told they require ID for all ammo sales. I asked again why and was told when they scan any ammo into the register they need to punch my name and drivers license ot other ID into the register. I then asked why again, and was told that is was a California law and all the cash registers were reprogrammed nationwide. I prompty walked out without saying anything, whent across the street to Wal-Mart and never stepped back into a Sports Authority ever again.

  12. But I’m not aware of any other big box retailers, like Wal-Mart being concerned enough to card New Jersey residents. But Wal-Mart wields a bigger stick than a smaller retailer like Dick’s. Has anyone else noticed this problem with retailers?

    No, but then I’ve never seen guns or ammo for sale at a NJ Walmart. It’s possible this is just my limited experience (guns are thinner on the ground up here in north Jersey than down in south Jersey), but I wouldn’t be shocked if Walmart has just decided not to deal with Jersey’s gun laws.

  13. The Dicks in Lafayette, IN has small signs on all their non-.22 semiautomatics saying they cannot be sold to IL residents. If I recall, they only had the R-15 and Mini-14 for sale, but I asked the kid behind the counter why this was so, as semi automatics aren’t illegal in IL. He told me it was for “liability reasons.” I reminded him these guns weren’t illegal in IL, but he just shrugged his shoulders. Haven’t bought anything from them since.

  14. The Dick’s near me in Florida does not even carry handgun ammunition. Not exactly what I expect from a large sporting goods store. Of course with the proximity of the very gun friendly Gander Mountain, they never see my business anyway.

  15. Dick’s will generally only sell firearms to residents of the state the store is in and residents of directly bordering states. However, it IS there policy to enforce the gun laws of each state. So, for instance, if you live in Massachusetts and want to buy a rife in VT, you have to have the required MA card to do it, even though a VT resident would not. You have to fill out a 4473, so lying about your address is not a good idea, and you have to have your address on the ID you provide anyway, which pretty much means a driver’s license for most people.

  16. FWIW, WalMart stores in NH, at least on the MA border, will ask to see your MA LTC to sell you ammunition. Normally, they just need your license to confirm your age, but if you’re from MA they want to see the LTC.

    Even though it is 100% legal for a non-permitted MA resident to buy ammo in NH and shoot it in NH…

  17. I’m a bit incredulous at all the folks who will take a “no” from someone not authorized to say “yes”.

    Why on earth would you take a clerk’s word about anything involving store or company policy that seems to contravene the law and walk out without calling in a manager to confirm it?

    If a cop in a town told you OC was illegal (if it isn’t) would you just take their word for it, never go back to that town, and then post about it on the internet; or would you take the time to follow up with an actual decision maker and get the scoop from someone with real authority?

    If we don’t hold these stores (and agencies for that matter) accountable for properly educating their employees they won’t ever learn.

  18. Buddies and I regularly restocked at Galyan’s en route home from NRA range.
    The manager (who had a major-N.E.-business-school tie) informed us that “company policy” dictated that handgun ammo be carried by staff to check out for “safety reasons.”
    I asked “Don’t you realize we’re both permitted to carry concealed and can protect the ammo better than your staff?”
    Manager: “Well that was a risk we factored in when opening branches in the South.” (Fill points for honesty)
    While I was slack jawed from shock my buddy came back with:
    “Did they do a risk analysis for putting an a**-hole in charge of the store?”
    We left without the ammo.
    Over the course of the next six months we saw familiar faces from Galyan’s appearing at other retail establishments. By the end of the year most of original Galyan’s staff had left Dick’s.

  19. Out here in Oregon, Dicks gave me a little trouble buying a Marlin Model 795 .22LR because I just walked in a said that’s what I wanted to buy. He did sell it to me but only after a discussion about my “suspicious” behavior. Because I didn’t take the time to look at the rifle and handle made it suspicious behavior.
    What had happened is I was just waiting for that rifle to go on sale so the decision to buy had been made in my mind a while back.
    Dicks moved in out here after a local chair went bankrupt. So I tend to window shop at a store near work and buy at a store near home. Fortunately another local sporting good chain opened near me so I’ve stopped going to Dicks for most things.

  20. The Walmart in Amherst, NH cards for all ammo purchases. The Walmart in Concord doesn’t card ammo buyers since they aren’t close to the border.

  21. I called this store, on Monday and spoke with the manager on duty and a person in the hunting department and was told this was the policy.

    I then called the Easton, PA store where I tell my students who I am teaching firearms classes to stop anf buy ammo on the way to the range, to see if this was a corporate policy change. They told me as long as the individual meets the requirements of the laws of the U.S. and Pennsylvania they can buy ammo no matter where they live.

    Tuesday I called back to the Oxford Valley store to speak with the store’s General Manager, who was not there when I called on Monday. They connected me not to the General Manager but the District Manager who just happened to be at the store.

    I spoke to him about the issue, and informed him that only he laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States apply to the purchase of ammunition in Pennsylvania. I emphasized that New Jersey does not have the authority to apply their laws to the soverign territory of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, even for its own citizens, and that only the federal government can regulate interstate commerce. I gave the example of fireworks being illegal to be possessed by Pennsylvania residents in Pennsylvania and by New Jersey residents in New Jersey, but New Jersey residents can buy fireworks in Pennsylvania becasue interstate commerce is a function of the federal governemnt.

    The District Manager said that he would address my question with corporate and get back to me

    I just got off the phone with the District Manager and he informed me that the issue has been resolved and memo has been sent to all the stores in his region. According to the District Manager they will be following the laws of the state the store is in and the federal laws only. This means if you are asked for ID to purchase ammunition, the only disqualifying factor will be the age of the purchaser if the are under the legal age to purchase as determined by federal law or the laws of the state that the store is located in.

  22. Thanks for taking the time Ed.

    Every time someone goes to the trouble the situation gets better for us all.

    Well, for me next time I’m in PA and try to buy ammo anyway. =)

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