MEC evaluating how to respond to pressure to drop brands linked to gun maker

The new logo for Mountain Equipment Co-op is shown in a handout photo.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO - Mountain Equipment Co-Op

VANCOUVER - Mountain Equipment Co-op says it is evaluating different courses of action amid continued social media outcry that it stop selling brands connected to a major U.S. gun manufacturer.

MEC says whatever decisions it makes will impact the brands it carries along with its financial health and ability to meet members’ needs.

An online petition calling for the Vancouver-based outdoor retailer to stop selling Vista Outdoor Inc.-owned brands has garnered more than 20,000 signatures because the company also develops and manufactures firearms similar to the type of rifle used in a recent school shooting.

MEC says in a statement shared via its Twitter account Monday that the company has heard from members on different sides of the issue, including those who want to be able to purchase Vista-owned brands like Camelbak at MEC stores.

The company says that senior management and its product team spent all of Monday talking to various brands and its peers in the outdoor industry on the phone.

MEC says the company still has more questions than answers, but remains committed to figuring out the best path forward for the co-op.

The company says the brands in question include Bolle, Bushnell, CamelBak, Camp Chef, and Jimmy Styks. Except for Camp Chef, MEC says its relationship with the brands predates Vista Outdoor’s ownership of them.

MEC adds that it does not have a relationship with the National Rifle Association. It says any direct association with the NRA lies with Vista Outdoor’s firearm and ammunition brands.

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