20-year-old sues Dicks, Walmart over new age restrictions on rifle purchases
PORTLAND, Ore. — 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.
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.
Desktop NewsClick to open Continuous News in a sidebar that updates in real-time.
Former East Feliciana Parish Coroner to be arraigned
Another Louisiana special session on taxes opens
Bridge on N. River Road impassable since 2016 flood, drivers demanding answers
WATCH: Python hunter rescues 4-foot alligator from the grip of a 10-foot...
Nutria spotted around City Park Lakes, best left alone
Temeka Johnson basketball camp about more than the game
Saints looking to fill backfield void during Ingram's 4-game absence
Saints RB Mark Ingram says he's 'not angry' with his contract
Sean Payton's coaching style propels him into 13th year with Saints
New coach excited to change basketball culture at Southern