Sporting goods chain suspends sale of some semi-automatic rifles, including at Las Cruces store

POSTED: 04:27 PM MST Dec 18, 2012    UPDATED: 12:52 PM MDT Mar 19, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

Dick's Sporting Goods has suspended the sale of some of its semi-automatic weapons nationwide, including at its Las Cruces store.

"We are extremely saddened by the unspeakable tragedy that occurred last week in Newtown, CT, and our hearts go out to the victims and their families, and to the entire community," company officials said in a statement. "Out of respect for the victims and their families, during this time of national mourning we have removed all guns from sale and from display in our store nearest to Newtown and suspended the sale of modern sporting rifles in all of our stores chainwide. We continue to extend our deepest sympathies to those affected by this terrible tragedy."

Semi-automatic rifles are also known as  "modern sporting rifles."

The move comes after reports that investigators were trying to determine whether the gunman in the Newtown shooting, Adam Lanza, tried to buy a gun from a Dick's Sporting Goods store in the city of Danbury, about 12 miles away.

"At this time, reports that the suspect visited one of our stores last week have not been confirmed by law enforcement," the sporting goods store said in a statement to CNN. "Based on our records, we can confirm that no firearms were sold to the suspect identified in this case."