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Bang! Ammo maker sues Dick's Sporting Goods

A supplier to Dick’s Sporting Goods is suing the nationwide chain for breach of contract and fraud for abruptly stopping its sale of certain weapons and refusing for nearly a year to accept delivery of ammunition it had ordered.

Cincinnati.com noted Dick’s had announced in response to the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that it would halt sales of some rifles and some high-capacity magazines to customers under 21.

Now, Battle Born Munitions Inc. of Sparks, Nevada, has filed a lawsuit in federal court against Dick’s.

“In negotiating a purchase order under the Vendor Agreement, Dick’s promised that if BBM agreed to procure, customize, brand and package certain quantities and calibers of ammunition, Dick’s would take delivery no later than November 16, 2016,” the lawsuit explains.

“This was a material misrepresentation as Dick’s knew at the time it was made that it would not take delivery of the branded ammunition in November 2016, as promised.”

The lawsuit contends that after BBM “performed all of its obligations, Dick’s refused to take delivery of the branded ammunition in November 2016 as BBM had expected and reasonably anticipated up until that time.”

“As a result, BBM was forced to warehouse the branded ammunition until August 2017, at which time Dick’s finally took delivery. BBM thus suffered substantial economic and lost opportunity damages.”

American Thinker Editor Thomas Lifson opined that it was “virtue-signaling by Dick’s” that created the problem, leaving “some of its suppliers in the lurch.”

“Tying up the available cash of this company in inventory and then refusing to pay for the custom goods ordered, could have driven BBM out of business,” Lifson wrote. “As it happened, the company managed to survive the cash flow crisis, and Dick’s ultimately paid up.”

BBM couldn’t sell the ammunition obtained from manufacturers Igman and RUAG Hungarian Ammotec to another retailer, because it was labeled with Dick’s exclusive brand name.

The contract required an investment for the company of nearly $4.5 million, the lawsuit said.

The complaint alleges Dick’s also took discounts to which it was not entitled. And the sporting goods chain charged the supplier for inventory that did “not meet certain specifications” without providing any support or detail for the alleged failures.

A contract to sell more than $37 million worth of Bell helicopters fell through, as well, because Dick’s had tied up BBM’s money, and it was unable to pay a required deposit, the lawsuit said.

BBM lost $5.2 million on that deal.

A commentary at the website Bearing Arms said “it’s clear that Dick’s dropped the ball at pretty much every level.”

“You can’t leave someone holding the bag like that and not expect them to want something in return.”

The case, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, cites fraudulent inducement, negligent misrepresentation and breach of contract.