Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is facing an increasing online pressure to remove its Vista brand out of its stores.
A petition has been put in place on change.org asking for the retailer to stop carrying the brands.
Over 24,000 people have signed the petition and it is been widely shared on social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter.
Vista which is an outdoor brand, is connected to a major U.S. gun manufacturer.
MEC does not sell weapons, but rather sunglasses, helmets, binoculars and other outdoor gear.
“It [the connection to gun manufacturer ] stirred in me to make the decision to do something.
What must I do,” said Sara Latha, who started the petition against MEC.
“They [MEC] have a responsibility to take a step forward making sure no other brands have a connection to the gun industry,” she added.
Vista brand owns ‘Savage Arms’, another company that sells semi-automatic rifles, similar to the weapon that was used
in the deadly Parkland School in Florida a few weeks ago.
The attack left 17 people killed and 11 wounded.
MEC referred Humber News to a previous statement posted on Twitter.
“We’re gathering facts, listening to our members and figuring out the best path forward for our Co-op….
This involves asking some tough questions about our supply chain….”
MEC said in the statement.
Here’s an update from MEC pic.twitter.com/t08bpveVPH
— MEC (@mec) February 26, 2018
“We’ve also heard from many of you who disagree: members who still want to purchase brands at MEC, think purchasing decisions should be up to the individual consumers,” the statement aded.
Here’s our next update pic.twitter.com/GMxMvMcnbw
— MEC (@mec) February 27, 2018
Despite the petition almost reaching its target of 25,000 people, a marketing expert suggests the MEC should keep the Vista brand.
“There is a bit of a disconnect, and in a purely logically view, MEC isn’t doing anything wrong but there is that public pressure.” said Marc Gordon, a Toronto based market expert.
”They should not have to drop the brand. The reality the company does not sell guns, they sell stuff made by another company.”