A man in Oregon filed lawsuits against Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart on Monday after both retailers refused to sell him a rifle because he was not 21 yet.
Tyler Watson, 20, filed suits against both retailers after they refused to sell him a rifle, since both companies increased the age required to purchase long guns from 18 to 21 in the wake of the recent Florida school shootings. The Associated Press reports:
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.
Watson’s attorney, Max Whittington, said that his client “was really just trying to buy a rifle,” hinting that he was not trying to gain publicity from filing the lawsuit.
Watson is reportedly asking for judges to force both retailers “to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19, and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations.”
While Dick’s Sporting Goods did not respond to a request for comment concerning the lawsuit, Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove responded by saying that Walmart intends to fight it.
“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it,” Hargrove said. “While we haven’t seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court.”