US sports goods retailer Dick’s has suspended the sale of rifles at its 500 outlets in the wake of the Connecticut shootout that left 26 people, mostly children, dead.

A statement released by the retailer said that the decision was taken to take off the guns from shelves and display, blocking it sales nationwide for an unspecified period.

The statement said that the retailer is extremely saddened by the the tragic incident that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut on 14 December 2012 and offered its condolences to the affected families and entire community.

"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 chain-wide," the statement said.

The incident occurred at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown when a gunman massacred 26 people including 20 students and six staff members highlighting the danger of easy availability of guns in the country.

Dick’s is reportedly the first retail chain to take up such initiation following the tragic shooting incident.

The chain retails sporting merchandise such as footwear, apparel, golf products, and adventure accessories vide its 500 outlets across 44 states in the country.