Country music superstar Tim McGraw has lent his voice to the gun control movement by taking to social media to thank the growing number of firearm retailers who are changing their policies regarding gun sales. The move has come after the Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead.
McGraw and his wife, singer Faith Hill, have been among the few country music stars to vocally support gun control. While it is too early to say whether these are the first signs that Nashville is moving away from a largely apolitical stance on guns, a growing number of younger country music singers have been vocal about the country's lax gun control laws.
According to A Taste of Country Retailers like Dick's Sporting Goods, WalMart, Kroger and L.L. Bean are among the retailers who have announced self-imposed changes.
Dick's will no longer sell "assault rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. We had already removed them from all Dick’s stores after the Sandy Hook massacre, but we will now remove them from sale at all 35 Field & Stream stores," the company wrote in a statement.
Going further, the retailer will no longer sell arms to anyone under the age of 21 and will also halt sales of high capacity magazines.
In its statement, Dick's also asked elected officials to pass legislation that could help prevent future mass shootings.
The measures include banning assault weapons, raising the minimum age to buy a gun to 21, banning high capacity magazines and bump stocks, requiring a universal background check for all gun buyers that includes relevant information about mental health and previous interactions with law enforcement, maintaining a universal database of people banned from owning guns and closing the private sales and gun show loopholes, ToC reported.
WalMart has also raised the minimum age required to buy a gun to 21 and has removed all assault rifles from its website. These moves have been mirrored by Kroger and L.L. Bean.
McGraw, a gun owner, and his wife said in an interview last year after the Las Vegas mass shooting, "There is some common sense that’s necessary when it comes to gun control. They want to make it about the Second Amendment every time it’s brought up. It’s not about the Second Amendment.
"Military weapons should not be in the hands of civilians. It’s everyone’s responsibility, including the government and the National Rifle Association, to tell the truth. We all want a safe country."
McGraw took to Instagram to share his support for the students who have been speaking out after the Parkland shooting.
"I learned one of the teachers who was shot in Florida at Stoneman Douglas, Scott Beigel, was a friend of one of my associates — they were camp counselors together," he wrote. "What an amazing man who lost his life protecting the children. That is a true hero. And I’m deeply moved by these students who are lifting their voices - challenging us to listen, learn, and make real changes. #NeverAgain."
Two top country songwriters, Tim Nicols and Jim Beavers, also penned a moving tribute song to the students who died in the Parkland shooting titled Goodbye My Friend.
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