The regional sporting goods discount chain this week has been quietly pulling guns such as AR-15 variants and Ruger Mini-14s from their shelves.

On June 13, the company, with its headquarters in Texas, sent a memo to all 200 stores to pull any rifle to include airsoft and pellet guns that resemble a modern sporting rifle from display. News of the change first surfaced on Reddit and was picked up by The Firearms Blog and others by the next day.

“Given Sunday’s tragic incident in Orlando and out of sensitivity for the victims, Academy Sports + Outdoors (‘Academy’) is taking several steps related to the advertising and display of modern sporting rifles (MSRs),” notes the internal memo. visited two locations in Mississippi and found gun bar staff bewildered by the decision and store managers unwilling to comment.

Where racks of AR-15 and AK variants along with popular Ruger Mini-14 offerings once stood remained only bolt-action rifles, single shot hinge-breaks and shotguns. The sole centerfire semi-auto rifle still visible was a walnut stocked Browning BAR in .30.06.

A sign advertising Bushmaster’s brand hung precariously, while the guns that stood under it were anything but.

“These were full when I left the other night,” a clerk told “They are very popular sellers. This blows my mind.”

The guns removed from display were still in the store, boxed up complete with trigger locks and secured inside gun safes, and are still for sale, just not on public…

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