Mountain Equipment Co-Op Considers Dropping Vista Outdoor — Mountain Equipment Co-Op, a sporting-goods retailer, is deciding whether to stop selling CamelBak, Bushnell, Bollé and other brands of Vista Outdoor Inc. after anti-gun campaigners petitioned the store to drop the owner of Savage Arms and Federal Premium ammunition.

“Thank you @mec members who contacted us with your concerns about Vista Outdoors,” MEC said last night on Twitter. “Senior mgmt will be discussing this first thing on Monday. We’ll have an update for you later in the day.”

As of 8 p.m. Toronto time today, almost 6,700 people had signed a petition started three days ago on, more than 10 times as many as at 2 p.m. A similar message on Facebook had 210 “likes” and 284 “shares.”

The petition calls on Vancouver-based MEC to drop Vista Outdoor, the U.S. maker of CamelBak water packs, Bushnell optics and Camp Chef camping grills because it controls companies that make guns and ammo.

“Some members question whether including these brands in our assortment has any impact on gun violence – while others see a direct link,” MEC said this evening on Twitter. “There are differences of opinion as to how this issue affects members, including those who are hunters or enjoy sport shooting.”

Anti-gun activists have ramped up calls on companies to cut ties to businesses and associations related to firearms, shooting and hunting after a man killed 17 people at a high school in Florida on Feb. 14.

Many people hostile to firearms believe guns are used only or mainly by murderers. They don’t realize that millions of Canadian men, women and youth use guns safely, skillfully and responsibly for hunting, recreation, competition and protection. They don’t know that we also oppose unlawful and unjustified violence.

Anti-gunners have prompted more than a dozen large corporations to end relations with the U.S. National Rifle Association. Shoppers Drug Mart Corp., a unit of Loblaw Cos., said last week it would stop selling Recoil magazine in response to a client request.

“At this point in time we still have more questions than answers,” MEC said in this evening’s statement. “We’re evaluating different courses of action and remain committed to figuring out the best path forward for our co-op.”

The company invited people to check for updates tomorrow.

Shares of Vista rose 0.6 percent to U.S.$18.25 today in New York trading.

Here is a selection of tweets from this evening:

And a couple tweets from earlier today:

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