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REI & Mountain Equipment Co-Op stop selling major outdoor brand with NRA ties

CamelBak water bottles, Bell bicycle helmets, Giro ski goggles — these products are all  owned by Vista Outdoor, which includes gun and ammo makers among its brands and has a strong connection to the National Rifle Association. And that’s part of the reason REI, a nationwide outdoor retailer and consumer co-op, announced Thursday evening that it would no longer be ordering CamelBak, Bell, Giro or any other of the 50 Vista Outdoor brands to sell in its stores... The company joins others that have taken a stand against military-style weapons and the NRA lobby by discontinuing sales, making it harder to buy weapons or, as in this case, cutting ties in the wake of the Florida school shooting last month that left 17 teenagers and educators dead... REI was at least the second company on Thursday to announce its split from Vista Outdoor products. The other was Mountain Equipment Co-Op, an outdoors equipment retailer that said it had received an overwhelming number of requests from its members to stop helping a gun manufacturer profit by selling its products.

... “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,” REI said in a statement. “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 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.”

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