Wed, Mar 07, 2018 - Page 7 News List

Oregon teen sues stores over age rule

AP, PORTLAND, Oregon

An Oregon teen on Monday filed suit 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 suspect 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 lawsuit 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 by the stores on Wednesday last week.

The lawsuit claims a store owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods in Medford, Oregon, refused to sell Watson a .22 caliber Ruger rifle on Feb. 24 and that Grants Pass Walmart refused to sell him a gun on Saturday.

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

“He was really just trying to buy a rifle,” Watson’s attorney, Max Whittington, said.

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.”

He is also 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,” the spokesman said.

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

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