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Handguns, rifles and ammo stolen from Opry Mills Bass Pro Shops

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Police say they’re looking for three suspects after more than 10 guns were stolen from a Nashville Bass Pro Shops.

The call came in late Tuesday night at the store located in Opry Mills. Metro Nashville police say three suspects used a hammer to break the glass to get in the store.

According to investigators, they stole 8-10 handguns, two rifles, numerous boxes of ammunition and weapon mounted lasers/flashlights.

Opry Mills Mall security saw the suspects run to a white Hyundai Sonata with Tennessee tag BHL-637. The car was reported stolen Sunday in Memphis.

Police said several of the empty handgun cases were located at 4 a.m. in a parking lot at 916 5th Avenue South.

Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463. Callers can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward of $6,000 ($5,000 of which is being provided by ATF & the National Shooting Sports Foundation) for information leading to an arrest.

Bass Pro Shops remained open Wednesday as the investigation continued. Donnell Jackson is a longtime customer and gun store owner who wonders why Bass Pro doesn't lock up their firearms each night. "You know, myself, I secure mine in a safe. If someone breaks into my house, they can’t just come in and grab a gun. So, for someone like Bass Pro Shops, it’s kinda carelessness on their part," says Jackson.

He wonders if he can store his guns properly, why can't they? "For something as dangerous as guns, you should have somebody locking those in some type of vault," he says. "If somebody gets out there and gets hurt by one of those guns that someone stole, I think they harbor responsibility if something happens with that."

NewsChannel 5 reached out to Bass Pro Shops for the story but haven't heard back.


Dick's Sporting Goods announced on Wednesday that it will stop all selling all assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. The move was a direct reaction, according to a spokesperson, to the Parkland school shooting that left 17 people dead and has had immediate effects on our national conversation around guns. “Thoughts and prayers aren’t enough,” a Dick’s press release said.

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Hours later, Walmart, the biggest gun seller in the country, announced it would not sell any guns to individuals under 21. (In 2015, Walmart stopped selling semi-automatic rifles.) The chain also said that it would discontinue items resembling assault-style rifles, like toy and air guns.

The two announcements are the most significant actions on gun control in corporate America so far this year, and both retailers were unequivocal in stating their decisions were in response to the Parkland shooting. But Americans are not left without options for purchasing their semi-automatic weapons.

With Dick's taking rifles off their shelves, one major retailer will continue selling assault-style rifles: Bass Pro Shops. The Missouri-based chain is one of America's largest privately-owned companies, according to Forbes, due in large part to the company's acquisition of outdoors outfitter Cabela's last year.

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There are more than 150 Cabela's and Bass Pro Shops stores across the U.S. and Canada, and both retailers sell the AR-15 and high-capacity magazines, which allows a shooter to fire a high number of rounds without reloading. (We reached out to Bass Pro Shops to ask if the actions of their competitors might affect their stock of weapons, but they did not immediately return a request for comment.)

On Thursday, the attorney representing nine of the Sandy Hook Elementary School families—all of whom are currently suing the AR-15 manufacturer Remington—sent a letter to Johnny Morris, CEO of Bass Pro Shops, asking him to stop selling assault rifles.

Outside of the big-box retailers, there are about 6,800 shops and 56,000 federally-licensed dealers that can sell guns in the U.S., according to USA Today. And weekend gun shows remain lucrative spaces to purchase weapons—a staple for the NRA's more than five million members. People love their guns, hold on to them dearly, and source many of their gun accessories from behemoths like Google and Amazon. So while retailers pull back a segment of their gun inventory, weapon sales will not necessarily go down. It's an $8 billion industry—a fragmented, shadowy industry—and it's up for debate whether signs that guns are getting harder to purchase will have an effect on sales.

For now, we can expect smaller chains will come out with a policy change—while some others, like those in Texas, won't budge. The grocery chain Kroger's had already discontinued the sale of semi-automatic weapons, but in the past week joined Walmart and Dick's by changing its age-limit policy. “Recent events demonstrate the need for additional action on the part of responsible gun retailers," said a spokeswoman for the company.

On Thursday, LL Bean also raised its minimum age for gun sales and REI barred all sales of Vista Outdoor brands (Giro, Bell, and CamelBak) until they reconsider its policies for its firearms brand, Savage Arms.

This post has been updated to provide information on additional retailers.

Nick PachelliNick Pachelli is a writer and editor in New York. 

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23 guns stolen from trailer at Memphis Bass Pro Shop

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Twenty-three guns were stolen from a semi-truck trailer at a Bass Pro Shops outlet in northeast Memphis, and the FBI and ATF are investigating.

On June 14, Memphis Police responded to the business at 6041 Macon Road around 6 a.m. after it was discovered that someone had broken into the trailer.

Authorities said 19 semi-automatic shotguns, two hunting rifles and two assault rifles were stolen.

Officials were unable to provide a description of the suspects, but said video from the scene captured three vehicles believed to be involved: a 2013 silver Kia Sorento, a light brown or gold sedan and a silver Infiniti G35.

If you know anything that could help police in this case, call Crime Stoppers at (901) 528-CASH.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Be this Guy - Gun Shop Don'ts

Malloy Asks Bass Pro Shops To Stop Selling Assault Rifles

Animal prints are molded into the floor of the 150,000 square-foot Bass Pro Shops in Bridgeport. Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is asking the outdoor retailer to change its policies on firearm sales.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy wants Bass Pro Shops – which has a location in Bridgeport and owns the Cabela’s in East Hartford – to be the latest major retailer to end the sale of assault-style weapons and stop selling firearms to people under 21.

“You have the opportunity to put Bass Pro Shops on the right side of history as we work to break the cycle of gun violence in the United States,” Malloy wrote in a letter to Bass Pro Shops CEO John Morris Monday.

The governor also asked Bass Pro Shops to stop carrying high-capacity magazines.

“Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s business is to provide tools and equipment for hunters, anglers and other outdoorsmen and women, and I believe that hunters should be able to access the necessary items to hunt effectively,” Malloy wrote. “At the same time, it is clear that semi-automatic assault weapons do not fall within that category.”

Bass Pro Shops did not return a request for comment.

The letter from Malloy came days after nine families who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook Elementary School made a similar plea through their attorney.

“Do not allow the company you built to be complicit in the next senseless massacre,” Josh Koskoff, who represented the families in their suit against the manufacturer of the AR-15, wrote to Morris.

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Connecticut banned the sale of assault-style weapons and high-capacity magazines as part of the sweeping gun legislation that was passed after the Dec. 14, 2012, Sandy Hook shootings.

The state gave Bass Pro Shops $31 million to build its 150,000-square-foot store in Bridgeport, which opened in 2015 as part of the city’s Steel Point development project. Malloy has defended the decision by state officials to lend money to a firearms retailer.

“I don’t see any conflict with that … it’s very much in keeping with our position with respect to guns,” he said after a 2013 state bond commission meeting. “We highly regulate gun purchases and usage in the state of Connecticut and companies are expected to live within that framework.”

Similarly, the state bond commission under Gov. M. Jodi Rell approved a nearly $10 million grant for Cabela’s, which opened in 2007 next to Rentschler Field. Bass Pro Shops bought Cabela’s for $4 billion last fall.

Following the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., last month, several national retailers have announced changes regarding the sales of firearms.

On Feb. 28, Dick’s Sporting Goods said it would raise the minimum age to purchase guns in its stores from 18 to 21 and stop carrying assault rifles. The next day, Walmart, which stopped selling AR-15s and other semi-automatic weapons in 2015, said it was raising the minimum age to purchase guns and ammunition to 21.


Shop guns pro bass

13 U.S. senators sent a letter about gun sales to Bass Pro. The company hasn’t responded.

Thirteen U.S. senators, all of them Democrats, sent a letter to Bass Pro Shops and two other companies in late July, asking the retailers to change one aspect of their gun sales policy.

Citing the June shooting deaths of nine members of a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina, the senators told Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops, Nebraska-based Cabela’s and Texas-based EZPawn the change is needed out of the “duty to ensure that your products do not get into the hands of dangerous individuals.”

Then, last week, two of those senators, both from Connecticut, held a news conference and encouraged a boycott of the companies until the change is made.

“Listen, I don’t think people should be shopping in these stores unless they make a commitment to require background checks before they sell guns,” Sen. Chris Murphy said on Aug. 3.

While regulations regarding gun sales vary by state, federal law requires firearms dealers to conduct background checks on potential firearm purchasers. The FBI says 91 percent of those checks are “immediate,” or completed within minutes. The other 9 percent require further investigation by agents with the FBI or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The issue at the center of the senators’ request is this: A provision of the Brady Handgun Violence Act allows gun retailers to proceed with a firearms sale after three days if an applicant’s background check is still pending. The senators see this “default to proceed” as a loophole, and the letter asks Bass Pro Shops and the two other retailers to stop selling guns when the background check is still pending but three days have passed.

As of Monday afternoon, the senators still awaited a response.

“No, we have not yet heard back from the companies,” Laura Maloney, press secretary for Sen. Murphy, told the News-Leader.

Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s and EZPawn did not respond to requests for comment from the News-Leader for this story.

The 13 senators who signed the letter are: Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Chris Murphy (Conn.), Edward J. Markey (Mass.), Dick Durbin (Ill.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chuck Schumer (N.Y.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.).

Not among the Democrats that signed? Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Anamarie Rebori, spokesperson for McCaskill, issued the following statement Monday in response to a News-Leader inquiry: “Claire applauds retailers who’ve taken this proactive step. Her focus right now is making sure federal background checks are done quickly and effectively, to help stop terrorists and criminals from getting their hands on guns.”

This latest push regarding gun sales was prompted by the June 17 killing of nine members of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. FBI director James B. Comey has said that 21-year-old suspect Dylann Roof was able to get the .45-caliber handgun authorities say he used in part due to the “default to proceed” provision. While an FBI examiner was notified that Roof was seeking to buy a gun from a dealer in West Columbia, the examiner did not gain access to a police report that would have prompted Roof to be denied before the three days was up — in part due to confusion over which South Carolina agency had previously arrested Roof.

“After that horrific day when Roof allegedly used the gun in Charleston, the matter was obviously researched and the rap sheet confusion — listing the arresting agency as the Lexington County Sheriff — and the internal contact sheet omission were discovered,” Comey said last month. “But the bottom line is clear: Dylann Roof should not have been able to legally buy that gun that day.”

In their letter to Bass Pro and the other companies, the senators wrote: “The perpetrator’s exploitation of this loophole is not an anomaly. In the last five years, the ‘default to proceed’ loophole has led gun retailers to proceed with 15,729 firearm sales to ‘prohibited people’ – individuals who were deemed ineligible to purchase a firearm once their background checks were completed. Based on FBI data, the Brady Campaign estimates that on average more than ten prohibited people a day are sold guns by gun dealers who do not use their discretion to wait for a final determination from FBI.”

Maloney, Murphy’s press secretary, said Monday the senators are also looking at legislative fixes to the provision, similar to an effort headed by Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-S.C.) in the U.S. House of Representatives. But gun regulation is a tough sell in Washington, and by issuing the letter, the senators signal they hope to find an ally in the private sector. The senators note that Walmart, the nation’s largest gun retailer, made the change they hope to see from Bass Pro and the other retailers back in 2008.

“Responsible gun retailers can act today to address this unacceptable situation,” the senators wrote. “The law allows retailers to decide whether or not to allow gun sales to proceed after the three-day ‘default period’ has elapsed. You have a duty to ensure that your products do not get into the hands of dangerous individuals like the Emanuel AME Church shooter.”

However, other senators have said they see Roof’s ability to get a weapon as a failure on the part of the FBI examiner, not existing law.

“It’s disastrous that this bureaucratic mistake prevented existing laws from working and blocking an illegal gun sale,” Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) said last month. “The facts undercut attempts to use the tragedy to enact unnecessary gun laws. The American people, and especially the victims’ families, deserve better.”

The National Rifle Association has defended “default to proceed” as a “critical safety valve,” saying it encourages the FBI to administer background checks “quickly and efficiently” and “preserves a critical aspect of America’s constitutional system, the due process principle that the government cannot arbitrarily deprive a person of his or her rights without making its case against that person. Bass Pro’s flagship store in Springfield houses the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum.

It’s unclear how many guns are sold by Bass Pro each year, and how many are sold when a background check is still pending.

Text of letter

The following letter, signed by 13 Democratic U.S. senators, was sent in late July to Springfield-based Bass Pro Shops, as well as Cabela’s and EZPawn:

“We are writing you with a simple ask: stop selling guns to people who do not first definitively pass a background check. The senseless killing of nine innocent people in Charleston, S.C., on June 17, was made possible because the alleged gunman was able to buy a gun without passing a background check.

A ‘default to proceed’ loophole in the Brady Handgun Violence Act allows, but does not require, gun retailers to proceed with a firearms sale after three days, if an applicant’s background check is still pending. While certain facts remain unknown, the FBI acknowledges that a fully completed background check would have uncovered the alleged perpetrator’s prior arrest on a drug charge and his drug addiction, thereby barring him from purchasing the .45-caliber handgun with which he took nine lives.

The perpetrator’s exploitation of this loophole is not an anomaly. In the last five years, the ‘default to proceed’ loophole has led gun retailers to proceed with 15,729 firearm sales to ‘prohibited people’ – individuals who were deemed ineligible to purchase a firearm once their background checks were completed. Based on FBI data, the Brady Campaign estimates that on average more than ten prohibited people a day are sold guns by gun dealers who do not use their discretion to wait for a final determination from FBI. Responsible gun retailers can act today to address this unacceptable situation. The law allows retailers to decide whether or not to allow gun sales to proceed after the three-day ‘default period’ has elapsed. You have a duty to ensure that your products do not get into the hands of dangerous individuals like the Emanuel AME Church shooter.

In 2008, Walmart, the nation’s largest gun retailer, partnered with Mayors Against Illegal Guns and agreed not to transfer firearms without background checks, even if three days had passed. The short-term inconvenience is minimal. In the vast majority of cases the background check is completed within minutes and the retailer knows whether they may proceed with the sale. After the horror inflicted upon the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, no responsible gun retailer should transfer a gun without first conducting a complete background check.

We implore you to act now. Join the movement of responsible gun retailers both large and small who will not sell a firearm absent a complete background check.”

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