Archive for Thursday, September 30, 2004

Cabela’s won’t add weapons to inventory

September 30, 2004

Apparently, selling assault weapons inside a tourist destination doesn't mix.

Corporate officials with Cabela's -- a national chain of stores selling outdoor supplies -- said this week that it's unlikely their store in the Village West entertainment and tourism district in western Wyandotte County would add any of the 19 types of semi-automatic weapons previously banned by federal law to its inventory of guns for sale.

Last week, a federal ban signed in 1994 outlawing the sale of certain military-style assault weapons expired. Congress has not reauthorized the ban as of yet.

Tom Rotar, director of retail operations for the Cabela's chain, said he's fairly certain none of the Cabela's stores, including the Wyandotte County Village West location, would be offering the weapons to customers.

"To my knowledge we've decided we're not," Rotar said.

Cabela's spokesperson Joe Arterburn said the ban's expiration would "not affect the way Cabela's does business."

"I don't really see a change in the mix of firearms we offer," Arterburn said.

He said the ban's expiration will allow those once-illegal firearms to become available on the market, but that doesn't mean Cabela's will "necessarily change our mix."

The company, with 10 locations across the country, follows all requirements governing the sale of firearms and promotes gun safety, Arterburn added.

Cabela's is one of the top tourist attractions in the state, and is located near Nebraska Furniture Mart and The Great Wolf Lodge.

Numerous studies offer no definite proof as to whether the now-extinct federal law had any impact on keeping assault weapons off the streets, and pro- and anti-gun groups argue the ban's merits as well.

Officials with the Unified Government of Wyandotte County, who've lobbied against legislation in the past that would have allowed residents to legally conceal and carry firearms, said last week they had no official position on Cabela's possibly selling the previously banned weapons.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.