REI halts Camelbak, Giro brands after parent company fails to take gun stance

FILE: REI Seattle flagship store on October 27, 2015 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Suzi Pratt/Getty Images for REI)

SEATTLE, Wash. — Kent-based outdoor retailer REI is putting on hold partnerships with a company that owns a gun manufacturer.

While REI doesn’t sell guns, it does sell products from companies that recently have been acquired by Vista Outdoors.

Companies under Vista Outdoors include Giro, Bell, Camelbak, Camp Chef and Blackburn. Vista also owns Savage Arms, which manufactures guns, including modern sporting rifles.

"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. In the last few days, we've seen such action from companies like Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart and we applaud their leadership," REI said in statement.

“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. Companies are showing they can contribute if they are willing to lead. We encourage Vista to do just that.”

REI members also have been calling for a boycott of Vista Outdoor brands.

When Canada's Mountain Equipment Co-op, MEC, dropped Vista Outdoors, Camelbak released a statement, pressing that the purchase of its products doesn't support shooting sports.

“That is not the case,” the company wrote. “Our brand falls within the Outdoor Products segment of our company, which operates separately from Vista Outdoor’s Shooting Sports segment. Since 1989, CamelBak has been committed to forever changing the way people hydrate and perform. Our passion and love for the outdoors is unchanged. We are deeply committed to the individuals and communities we serve and we proudly partner with organizations to promote the enjoyment of the outdoors.”

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