20-Year-Old Sues Dick’s, Walmart over New Gun-Purchase Restriction

Guns for sale are seen inside of Dick’s Sporting Goods store in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, February 28, 2018. (Eduardo Munoz/Reuters)
The stores stopped selling firearms to people under 21 after the Parkland shooting.

A 20-year-old is hitting Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart with lawsuits accusing them of discriminating against him based on age.

The stores stated they would no longer sell guns to customers under 21 after a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people on Valentine’s Day at a Parkland, Fla. school.

Tyler Watson has filed two lawsuits after he was not allowed to buy a rifle from either store. Dick’s refused to sell the Oregon man a .22-caliber Ruger rifle on February 24, and Walmart would not sell him a firearm on March 3. Oregon law allows people 18 and older to buy guns.

The lawsuit asks the two stores “to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19, and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations.” Watson is asking for some damages as well.

The 20-year-old did not know about the policies when he walked in to buy the rifle, his lawyer said.

“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it,” a Walmart spokesman said. “While we haven’t seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court.”

Dick’s has not made a statement on the lawsuit yet.

Dick’s sold a firearm to the Parkland shooter legally, sparking the company’s remorse. The sporting-goods store had previously stopped selling AR-15s after the Sandy Hook shooting but eventually began stocking them again.

Watson’s lawyer, Max Whittington, said he believes the lawsuit could be the first of its kind in the U.S.

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