20-Year-Old Sues Dick's, Walmart Over New Gun Policies - NBC Connecticut
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20-Year-Old Sues Dick's, Walmart Over New Gun Policies

Oregon law allows residents to buy shotguns or rifles starting at age 18, but the stores have restricted gun sales to adults 21 and older

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Walmart, Dick's Expand Corporate Rift With Gun Lobby

    Retail heavyweights Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods have taken steps to restrict gun sales. That follows moves by several other major corporations, including MetLife, Hertz and Delta Air Lines, that have cut ties with National Rifle Association following last month's school massacre in Florida. (Published Thursday, March 1, 2018)

    An Oregon man filed suits Monday claiming Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart discriminated against the 20-year-old when they refused to sell him a rifle.

    Dick's and Walmart restricted gun sales to adults 21 and older in the wake of the Florida high school massacre. The 19-year-old accused in the school slaying bought the AR-15 used in the attack legally.

    Oregon law allows residents to buy shotguns or rifles starting at age 18.

    Tyler Watson's lawsuits filed against the retailers in two separate counties claim he faced age discrimination from Dick's and Walmart, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. The lawsuit is believed to be the first filed over the new gun policies enacted on Feb. 28.

    Dick’s Sporting Goods to Discontinue Sales of Assault-Style Rifles

    [NATL] Dick’s Sporting Goods to Discontinue Sales of Assault-Style Rifles

    Saying that “thoughts and prayers are not enough” following the Parkland shooting, Dick’s Sporting Goods announced the company will discontinue sales of all assault-style rifles and will raise the minimum age to purchase a firearm to 21. The company will also end sales of high-capacity magazines.

    (Published Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018)

    The lawsuit claims a store owned by Dick's Sporting Goods in Medford, Oregon, refused to sell Watson .22-caliber Ruger rifle on Feb. 24. The suit says Grants Pass Walmart in Oregon refused to sell him a gun on March 3.

    It's not clear if Watson knew at that point of the restrictions.

    "He was really just trying to buy a rifle," said his attorney Max Whittington.

    Watson is asking judges to force Dick's and Walmart "to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19, and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations." Additionally, he is asking for unspecified punitive damages.

    Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said the retailer plans to defend the new policy.

    "We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it," he said. "While we haven't seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court."

    A representative from Dick's hasn't responded to a request for comment.