A 20-Year-Old Is Now Suing Walmart and Dick’s Over Their Age-Based Gun Sale Restrictions
Less than a week after the two retail chains announced they would raise the minimum age to buy guns to 21, Tyler Watson has filed a lawsuit against each company for failing to sell him a firearm. According to the lawsuit, he attempted to purchase a firearm from a Field & Stream location, which is owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods, on February 24th, four days before the new policy was announced. On March 3rd, after both Walmart and Dick’s had announced their new policies, he attempted to buy a gun from Walmart and was again turned away.
The lawsuit is thought to be the first of its kind in response to multiple retailers raising the minimum age to buy firearms after a 19-year-old used a legally purchased gun to kill 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Florida. According to The Oregonian, Oregon law allows people to own shotguns and rifles from the age of 18. Watson alleges, therefore, that the stores’ policies violate Oregon statutes that protect its citizens from age-based discrimination.
Watson is seeking unspecified damages and the cessation of “unlawful discrimination” against 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old Oregonians by Dick’s and Walmart.
Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told NBC that the retailer plans to defend the new policy.
“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it,” he said.
Dick’s did not immediately return Fortune‘s request for comment.