SHOPS IN WEST IOWA — As the nation’s largest gun retailer, Guns and Ammo Inc. has been the target of an anti-gun group targeting the company.
Guns and Ammo announced Tuesday that it had decided to close shop and will continue to operate in the same locations as before.
The announcement comes as the National Rifle Association has expanded its campaign to expand gun ownership to include the sale of hunting gear.
“We are proud to have worked with the NRA and our NRA-certified distributors to ensure the safety of our employees, customers and communities,” Guns and Powder president and CEO Mike Kowalski said in a statement.
“We are also proud to be the largest retailer in the country and we have the most comprehensive and robust gun safety program in the nation.”
In addition to the stores in Iowa, the company will close its flagship store in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and in Fargo, North Dakota.
Kowalskis’ announcement comes on the heels of a mass shooting at a Las Vegas casino, in which a gunman opened fire on concertgoers.
The shooting left more than 50 people dead and more than 500 wounded.
According to the National Shooting Sports Foundation, more than 10 million people have purchased a firearm since the December 2015 mass shooting in Las Vegas.
A statement from the NRA also said that its members are the largest gun ownership group in the United States, accounting for nearly 20 million members, with more than 12 million of them in Iowa.
Gun-related violence is the fourth leading cause of death for Americans under the age of 35, according to the Gun Violence Archive.