20-year-old sues Dick’s, Walmart over new gun policies

Posted: Updated:

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- 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.

RELATED: Walmart, Dick's expand corporate rift with gun lobby

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.

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.

“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.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • New Jersey SlideshowsGalleriesMore>>

  • It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day - Submit your photos

    It's National Dress Up Your Pet Day - Submit your photos

    Tuesday, January 14 2020 5:36 AM EST2020-01-14 10:36:44 GMT
    Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?
    Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?Happy National Dress Up Your Pet Day! Do you dress up your pet?
    According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were expected to spend $490 million on costumes for their pets this past Halloween. But there's another special day to celebrate your furry friend!
    According to the National Retail Federation, Americans were expected to spend $490 million on costumes for their pets this past Halloween. But there's another special day to celebrate your furry friend!
  • Pitt, Sandler and 'The Irishman' celebrated at NBR Awards

    Pitt, Sandler and 'The Irishman' celebrated at NBR Awards

    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
    The National Board of Review assembled many of the regulars of this year’s awards season in the annual, untelevised gala dinner at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in midtown Manhattan.
  • Stars hit the red carpet for the premiere of 'Like a Boss'

    Stars hit the red carpet for the premiere of 'Like a Boss'

    The stars of the film "Like a Boss" hit the red carpet Tuesday in New York City for the premiere.
    The stars of the film "Like a Boss" hit the red carpet Tuesday in New York City for the premiere.
sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."