REI Drops CamelBak, Camp Chef and Others Because Their Parent Company Sells Guns

Brittany M. Hughes | March 2, 2018
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Outdoor sporting goods store REI, along with Canadian outdoor retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC), have suspended the sale of all products made by brands owned by Vista Outdoor, a company that happens to also own a brand  that makes sporting rifles.

A note: neither REI nor MEC sell guns at all, much less sporting rifles like the AR-15. They sell canoes and golf clubs and hiking boots and stuff. But apparently, it’s not enough to simply not carry guns – now, they’re nixing the sale of any product that could possibly be related to any company that makes guns.

REI published a statement this week on their decision:

"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.”

"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."

REI never did state what “plan of action” they expect from Vista, but whatever.

MEC issued a similar statement from the Great White North:

The issue of gun violence and questions surrounding responsible gun use, ownership and manufacturing have made headlines around the world. While these issues are seemingly unrelated to MEC, it has recently come to light that several brands MEC sells are owned by a corporation that has holdings in the manufacture of assault-style weapons.

“Effective immediately, suspend any further orders with the five brands owned by Vista Outdoor which we carry (Bollé, Bushnell, CamelBak, Camp Chef, Jimmy Styks). Existing inventory will remain on our shelves until it has sold through.”

Jimmy Styks, by the way, is a stand-up paddleboard company. CamelBak makes hiking gear. Camp Chef makes outdoor cooking equipment and grills. Bollé is a French company that makes sunglasses, ski masks and helmets.

Bushnell is an optics company that makes riflescopes…along with binoculars and telescopes for stargazing and nature study.

But because Vista Outdoor, a Utah-based company that owns about 50 different outdoor brands, also owns gun manufacturer Savage Arms, ammunition brands like Blazer and Federal Premium, and gun accessory brands like Blackhawk and Champion, this apparently means REI and MEC – stores that don’t even sell guns in the first place – will no longer carry CamelBak water bottles.

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