As a handful of big companies cut ties with the National Rifle Association, some Portland bike shop owners are looking to do the same.
The plan is to stop stocking certain brands in their stores, because they said the company that sells them supports the NRA.
“This is a very painful thing to do,” said owner of Sellwood Cycle Repair, Eric Tonkin.
Tonkin said it’s far from an easy decision.
“We’ve carried these brands for, some of them for 20 years,” he said.
He’s talking about bicycle brands sold by the company Vista Outdoor.
“The majority of Vista Outdoor’s brands and the majority of their business is tied to shooting sports and Vista is a supporter of the National Rifle Association,” he said. “The brands in question are Bell, Giro, Blackburn, and Co-Pilot.”
These brands are currently in Tonkin’s store. He said once they’re gone though, they’re gone for good.
“This latest Florida shooting has once again brought this issue to the forefront,” he said. “I made a decision that we’re going to change our buying habits, because I don’t want that money that we spend with these companies to go to the NRA.”
A handful of other bikes shops in Portland plan to do the same.
Gladys Bikes, located in northeast Portland wrote on its Facebook in part:Of Vista's many brands, we currently only stock Giro helmets, and we had just placed a fairly sizable (for us) order with them. I'm not going to lie: This puts us in a tricky place financially. That said, there are a lot of things that are more important than money (for instance: human life); we're committed to finding a way to not support them moving forward.“We’re not really trying to force our beliefs or our opinions about this on anybody,” said Tonkin. “This is a change that we’re making here at home.”
Fox 12 reached out to Vista Outdoor Saturday evening and did not immediately hear back.