Man Claims Dick's, Walmart 'Discriminated' Against Him Over Gun Policy


A 20-year-old in OR is suing Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods for refusing to sell him a rifle after the retailers changed their policies after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting to bump the age from 18 to 21.

But he said the spirit of the law would point to 18-year-olds being able to buy rifles in any store that sells them. Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year old suspect in the school shooting, had legally bought the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle used in the massacre.

Tyler Watson's lawsuit filed Monday claims he faced age discrimination when he tried to buy a rifle in February at a store owned by Dick's in Medford.

In the two lawsuits Watson filed against Dick's and Walmart, documents claim that the retailers discriminated against him because of his age. Watson said he was also refused when he attempted to buy a gun at the Grants Pass Walmart.

Watson's attorney Max Whittington told The Oregonian he believes it is the first lawsuit of its kind in the U.S.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove says the retailer will defend its new policy.

Watson's legal action requests that Dick's and Walmart "stop their unlawful discriminating against 18-, 19- and 20-year-old customers at all OR store locations", according to the report. Among other proposals, Dick's called for completely banning "assault-style firearms" and "high-capacity magazines", closing the "gun show loophole", and raising the minimum federal gun buying age to 21.

He is also seeking punitive damages and attorney's fees.

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While Dick's Sporting Goods did not immediately respond to ABC's request for comment, Ed Stack, CEO of Dick's Sporting Goods, appeared on "Good Morning America" on February 28 explaining his decision to restrict sales of fire arms.

"In light of recent events, we reviewed our policy on firearm sales", Hargrove said in an emailed statement.

But customers age 18 to 21 will get an exemption if they have proof of completing a hunter education and safety course, Orvis said.

Dick's decision came on the heels of several major companies such as Delta taking steps to separate themselves from the powerful gun lobby, the NRA.

Josh Silverstein, a law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's W.H. Bowen School of Law, said state discrimination statutes are often narrowly restricted to employment age discrimination or older individuals.

The lawsuit comes as the debate about gun control heats up on Capitol Hill and the "March for Our Lives" movement gains momentum nationwide.

Mccullar said he's an avid hunter, and can no longer purchase guns from Dick's, which seemed to assist his decision.

Looking at the stock markets, the stocks of both Dicks and Walmart knocked-off since they announced their new gun policies.