MEC suspends orders on equipment brands linked to American gun manufacturer

MEC suspends orders on equipment brands linked to American gun manufacturer

People in sports such as running and cycling thereafter realized brands such as CamelBak were owned by Vista Outdoor Inc.

The tragic school shooting in Florida in which 17 people were killed continues to have repercussions in the US, but now also in Canada.

The protest against MEC selling Vista Outdoor brands emerged with a petition and tweets and Facebook posts.

The mass shooting spurred a debate on USA gun control and it has now spilled across the border into Canada, where more than 50,000 people signed an online petition urging MEC, which has over five million members, to sever ties with US gunmakers.

Farmington-based Vista Outdoor owns about 50 gear brands, ranging from Camelbak hydration packs to Bolle sunglasses and Camp Chef outdoor cooking equipment.

"Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead".

"Existing inventory will remain on our shelves until it has sold through", he said in an open letter, while MEC will continue to engage with these brands and its peers in the outdoor industry "in ways that are consistent with our mission and values".

But MEC went a step further.

"REI does not sell guns". Still, it made a decision to stop carrying several popular products, because their corporate owner was in the guns business.

"Our sourcing practices have been squarely focused on MEC's label and environmental consideration and kind of the larger political economy questions have not come into play".

Proud to be a @mec member.

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A Mountain Equipment Co-op store in Montreal.

"We believe that the commonality is around gun control and the lack of sensible gun control", said Labistour of the feedback. "The speed at which this has happened compared to the last big ones has been way faster".

The Canadian retailer Running Room also announced Thursday it would stop ordering products from CamelBak, one of Vista Outdoor's brands. Walmart ended sales of assault-style rifles in 2015, citing lagging sales.

Running Room, as with MEC, said it will do a review of all its suppliers and vendors "for any other potential conflicts".

Vista did not return an email seeking comment.

"A major concern for the boycott centers around the incorrect assumption that the purchase of any of our products may support a cause that does not fit the mission/values of our brand", it said.

Tracey Wilson, spokeswoman for the Canadian Coalition for Firearms Rights (CCFR) said in statements sent to RCI this morning. MEC said analyzing corporate structures will take time to figure out.

Numerous brands mentioned in the recent petition were partners of MEC before being acquired by Vista Outdoor, he said.

"This week, we have been in active discussions with Vista Outdoor, which has recently acquired several companies that are longtime partners of REI". That year, Vista Outdoor paid US$400-million for CamelBak, as it tried to diversify away from guns and ammo.

MEC has been under pressure on social media to drop Vista. Canadian Tire owns Sport Chek.

Savage specializes in and is best known for its bolt action hunting rifles and target rifles, but to the objection of MEC, they also produce a small line of modern sporting rifles based on the AR-15 platform. In its statement, REI was critical of the company's silence.

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