TJ Larson

A Colorado-based outdoors retailer said it will no longer sell handguns and rifles with high-capacity magazines.

In an outstanding display of industry self-regulation, Jax Mercantile decided it will not carry these types of firearms at its six stores in Colorado and Iowa. Jax's president, Jim Quinlan, said that the ban applies to all high-powered assault-type firearms that have the capacity to hold more than 10 rounds. The self-imposed ban also applies to high-capacity magazines.

“It is a moral and personal decision. ... It [the Newtown shooting] was unthinkable. It was something that weighed heavily on me. It makes me sick,” Quinlan told the Boulder Daily Camera on Friday. "I just don't feel that we need to be in the business of selling high-capacity magazines and military-assault rifles. ... These weapons are designed for killing people—that's just not something I want to sell."

Jax, which is based in Fort Collins, Colo., said that it will continue selling conventional hunting rifles.


Here is proof that just because you can do something, it doesn't mean you necessarily have to. It also proves there are businesses out there that are not simply after turning a profit.

It is time for the public to realize that there is nothing “sporting” about these kinds of weapons. They are merely instruments of death wrapped in a nice package and presented to the public. There are many who will quickly point out that although these weapons look intimidating, they are not assault weapons. Some say that an assault weapon has to be fully automatic.

What they often fail to mention is that this is really semantics. The difference between assault weapons and so-called sporting weapons are mostly cosmetic. For instance, I remember when the name of the AR-15 changed to “Sporter.” In order to skirt the assault-weapons ban they simply removed the bayonet lug, did away with the collapsible stock and got rid of the flash suppressor. Another thing they did was place a block in the 20-round magazines that they came with to meet the 10-round-or-less requirement. However, the block could easily be removed by disassembling the magazine.

As far as full automatic and semiautomatic, once again, just smoke and mirrors. It is not how fast you can empty a magazine, it is how many times you can shoot without reloading that makes these weapons so deadly.

It is good to see that there are some who believe that there can be a meaningful effort made to curb gun violence without completely dismantling the Second Amendment. The first step is for gun manufacturers to become proactive by following the lead of Jax Mercantile. Not everything should be about making a dollar—especially if it is at the expense of the safety of our children.