For the sake of transparency, Monopoint Media, a company that previously shared resources with GearJunkie, worked with Vista Outdoor on a project in 2015.
MEC does not sell guns, but it faced an online petition calling for it to stop selling brands from Vista, which also develops and makes firearms similar to the type of rifle used in a recent US school shooting.
The nation's largest grocery chain has sold guns from 44 of its Fred Meyer stores in the West, but said Thursday that since a mass shooting last month at a Florida high school that killed 17 people, it's become clear that gun retail outlets must go beyond what current US laws requires.
"We believe that it is the job of companies that manufacture and sell guns and ammunition to work towards common sense solutions that prevent the type of violence that happened in Florida last month", REI said.
In their statement, REI applauded Dick's and Walmart for their leadership. The statement goes on: "This week, we have been in active discussions with Vista Outdoor, which has recently acquired several companies that are longtime partners of REI".
Since Camelbak isn't the only way to have a drink of water, Stanton says it will be easy to find a replacement brand that isn't owned by company that also owns firearm and munitions brands.
"This morning we learned that Vista does not plan to make a public statement that outlines a clear plan of action", REI officials wrote in a news release.
Beyond the products REI sells, Vista also owns Savage Arms, which makes "modern sporting rifles". "Vista has also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on lobbying at the federal level for defense appropriations, and they've fought hard against the Toxic Substances Control Act in recent years". Vista also sponsors a PAC that has supported political efforts to allow concealed carry of handguns across state lines.
The issue has been a divisive one for MEC's membership, with tweets sent supporting and opposing the move, and several pro-gun members have taken to Twitter to announce their withdrawal from the co-op.
Another from Texas said: "I am a PROUD REI member and enough is ENOUGH!"
Meanwhile, Facebook posts having nothing to do with the announcement are awash with comments on both sides. We can not assure you that the regulation of our business activities will not become more restrictive in the future and that any such restriction will not have a material adverse effect on our business. You are a leader.
REI isn't the first major outdoor retailer to indefinitely halt business with Vista. A similar petition for Canadian retailer Mountain Equipment Co-op got 54,194 signatures. The company adds that "we recognize, support and respect the right of every individual to decide for themselves what brands they will purchase based on whatever criteria they believe are important".
"If you start thinking about the global supply chain, every one of us is involved in something that is against our values: If it's not Vista, maybe you're connected to someone who designs logos for one of Vista's brands", Gupta said.