20-Year-Old Sues Dick's, Walmart over New Gun Policies

This photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, shows a Dick's Sporting Goods sign at a store in Miami. Photo: AP/ Alan Diaz
This photo taken Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017, shows a Dick's Sporting Goods sign at a store in Miami.

March 06, 2018 06:00 AM

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.

RELATED: Dick's Sporting Goods to Stop Selling Assault-Style Rifles in its Stores

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.

RELATED: Walmart Sets Age of 21 to Buy Firearms, Ammunition

"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.


The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


Senate Passes Bill Allocating $10 Million to Fix MNLARS

Pawlenty Forming Campaign Committee to Explore Run for Governor

After Warmer Weekend, Elements of Winter Could Return Monday Night

Another Catch-and-Release Walleye Season on Mille Lacs, DNR Says

Man Killed in Minneapolis House Fire Identified

Charges Possible Monday after Crash Injured Uber Driver, Passenger