The Mountain Equipment Co-op store on West Broadway in Vancouver. (Google Streetview)

MEC faces calls to drop outdoor brands owned by U.S. gun manufacturer

Vista Outdoor Inc. designs, develops and manufactures ammunition, long guns and related equipment

Mountain Equipment Co-op’s senior management is meeting Monday following a social media outcry after consumers connected some of the brands sold in store to a major U.S. ammunition and gun manufacturer.

The Vancouver-based outdoor apparel and goods retailer sells Vista Outdoor Inc.-owned brands, including Giro, Camelbak and Blackburn.

Utah-based Vista also designs, develops and manufactures ammunition, long guns and related equipment, according to its website. The company owns Savage Arms, which sells multiple semi-automatic rifles. Those are similar to the type of rifle a shooter used earlier this month to kill 17 people at a Parkland, Fla., school.

While MEC doesn’t sell firearms, it does stock the helmets, sunglasses and other outdoor goods Vista makes.

A petition calls on the retailer to stop carrying the brands.

“Given the recent massacre of high school students in Parkland, Fla., MEC is facing an urgent ethical obligation: to act in accordance with its ‘mission and values,’” the petition, which has been signed by about 400 people as of Monday afternoon, reads.

The company’s mission and values include seeking “to motivate other individuals and organizations to act for people and the planet.”

Some people aired their concerns to the company on its Twitter and Facebook pages, asking it to stop selling Vista-owned brands.

Neither MEC nor Vista immediately responded to a request for comment.

However, MEC answered posts on its social media pages, telling visitors their comments have been passed on to the company’s management.

It tweeted Sunday evening thanking all its members who contacted them with concerns.

Aleksandra Sagan, The Canadian Press

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