A 20-year-old Oregon man filed a lawsuit against Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart on Monday. The suit alleges that he was discriminated against when he was refused purchasing a rifle.
According to Oregon state law, legal rifle or shotgun purchases start at the age of 18.
Tyler Watson’s lawsuits claim he faced age discrimination from Dick’s and Walmart, The Oregonian reported.
Watson claims he went to Field and Stream, a subsidiary of Dick’s Sporting Goods, in Medford, Oregon, and was refused the purchase of a .22-caliber Ruger rifle on Feb. 24. On March 3, Grants Pass Walmart in Oregon refused to sell him a gun.
New gun policies were adopted on Feb. 28 and this is the first lawsuit filed regarding them.
Gun sales have recently been restricted to adults 21 and older by Dick’s and Walmart, among other retailers. The restrictions follow the Florida high school massacre. The suspected shooter who killed 17 people is a 19-year-old and purchased an AR-15 legally.
“He was really just trying to buy a rifle. He didn’t know about the new policy when he went into the store,” said his attorney, Max Whittington.
The lawsuit is asking Dick’s and Walmart “to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19 and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations.” Watson is also seeking punitive damages.
Walmart fully supports the new policy, said Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove.
“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it. While we haven’t seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court,” Hargrove said.
Dick’s Sporting Goods has not commented.