REI and MEC Drop Supplier in Gun Control Response


Vista Outdoor

REI, the Seattle-based retailer that specializes in outdoor apparel and gear, and MEC (Canada’s Mountain Equipment Co-op) have become the latest brands to take a stand on gun control.

Vista Outdoor logoThe retailers are both ending ties with—and pulling products from—Vista Outdoor, a company wth a brand portfolio including cycling brands Camelbak, Giro, Bell Helmets, Bollé, Camp Chef and Blackburn, Bushnell, Primos, BLACKHAWK! and many others. Vista also owns shooting sports brands Federal Premium and Savage and is an NRA and hunting supporter that manufactures assault rifles.

Responding to customers, the #draintheNRA and #BoycottNRA movement and social media activism, the brands are cutting off a key supplier that refused to take action on guns—and “outlines a clear plan of action” on the weapons it makes, as REI put it.

The REI decision isn’t permanent, leaving the door open should Vista make changes. MEC, as a member-owned co-op, shared its discussions and consultations on social media.

REI’s Statement on Vista Outdoor

REI does not sell guns. We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month. In the last few days, we’ve seen such action from companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart and we applaud their leadership.

This week, we have been in active discussions with Vista Outdoor, which has recently acquired several companies that are longtime partners of REI. These include Giro, Bell, Camelbak, Camp Chef and Blackburn. Vista also owns Savage Arms, which manufactures guns including “modern sporting rifles.”

This morning we learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action. As a result, we have decided to place a hold on future orders of products that Vista sells through REI while we assess how Vista proceeds.

Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that.

MEC: A Transparent Debate

MEC shared the discussion leading to its decision: