I was recently made aware of a decision by Bi-Mart (including subsidiary Cascade Farm & Outdoor) and the Kroger Corporation (parent company of Fred Meyer stores) to stop selling rifles and ammunition to those under 21 years of age. They have joined with other retailers such as Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods in this voluntary action.
Before 1968, individuals 18 years and older could purchase both rifles and handguns. The Gun Control Act of 1968 made it illegal for a Federal Firearms Licensee's (gun stores) to sell handguns to a person unless they were 21 years old. Rifles were still allowed to be sold to those 18 and older, which is still federal law today.
In the statement released by Bi-Mart they said, "... Bi-Mart and Cascade Farm and Outdoor stores, a division of Bi-Mart, will only sell guns and ammunition to those 21 or older that meet state and federal requirements for purchasing firearms." Bi-Mart has made this decision of their own initiative, without any change to current law.
I have been a loyal customer of Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer stores my entire life. I remember going to Bi-Mart with my mother for Lucky Number Tuesdays when I was only a few years old. Bi-Mart and Fred Meyer both are Pacific Northwest institutions that I have been glad to patronize. I choose your stores over other national retailers on a daily basis, and while not a large volume purchaser, still spend thousands of dollars at both retailers every year.
To find out that two of my favorite stores have caved to political pressure is extremely distressing to me. I expect decisions like this from stores like Walmart and Dicks, but never expected it from BiMart or Fred Meyer. Your two chains have always been supportive of gun owners, allowing concealed carry in your stores and not harassing those in the gun community when others chose to do so.
The age of majority in the United States is 18 years. A person is considered an adult and held responsible for themselves at that age. This means they get to vote and enjoy all the rights that entails, including the right to own a firearm and use it to defend themselves.
Bi-Mart's voluntary action, along with that of other major retailers, has effectively disarmed and denied the 2nd Amendment to the United States Constitution to all young adults from 18-20 years. They already could not buy a handgun in a retail store due to the GCA of 1968, now you have denied them the ability to buy a rifle, a shotgun or even a .22 rimfire.
Frankly, I have had enough of this caving to political peer pressure and this denial of the rights of other adult citizens of this country. From this point forward, until this decision is reversed, I will no longer patronize either of your establishments. I will spend my had earned money at other retailers who actually care about the rights of their fellow citizens. I don't care one bit what your justification was, wrong is wrong and I will not stand idly by and let it occur.
I will be visiting every store local to me and delivering this message personally to your store managers. This decision is not their fault, but the only way to force you to listen is to make my voice heard. I will also be submitting it to every available news outlet.
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