MEC drops brands associated with American gun manufacturer

BIV files

Vancouver’s Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has announced it is suspending any further orders of products from five brands of outdoor equipment owned by American company Vista Outdoor: Bollé, Bushnell, CamelBak, Camp Chef and Jimmy Styks.

MEC made the call in response to public pressure to cut ties with Vista, which owns gun-manufacturing company Savage Arms, a Massachusetts-based manufacturer of several guns, including a semi-automatic weapon similar to the one used in a Florida school shooting two weeks ago.

In an open letter to members, MEC CEO David Labistour said thousands of MEC members have spoken out and asked that the company cut ties with Vista, but that the decision to do so was not an easy one.

“Demonstrating leadership and leveraging the power of community are among MEC’s core values,” he said. “With this in mind, we have taken time to listen to our members’ views, consult internally and reach out to others in our industry.

“My responsibility as CEO is to ensure that we make thoughtful, informed decisions in the best interest of our Co-op and effect change where this is possible and consistent with our presence in the marketplace.”

Labistour went on to say he has served in the military and grew up in an area where hunting was commonplace.

“I can readily identify with our members who are on all sides of this debate,” he said.

“I hope that you will see that the decision we made today is balanced and considered and positions us to inspire a wider discussion throughout our industry and North America.”

The company said it will continue to sell existing inventory of the five brands until it is sold out.

ecrawford@biv.com

@EmmaHampelBIV