SEVERE WX: Flood Warning View Alerts

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

The lawsuits, obtained by The Associated Press, are believed to be the first filed over the new gun policies enacted in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting in Florida.

Posted: Mar. 6, 2018 2:48 PM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 20-year-old man from Oregon has filed lawsuits against Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart, alleging the two retailers discriminated against him when they refused to sell him a rifle this week because of his age.

Dick's and Walmart restricted gun sales to people 21 and older in the wake of the Florida high school massacre. The 19-year-old accused in the school slaying legally bought the AR-15 used in the attack.

The lawsuits, obtained by The Associated Press, are believed to be the first filed over the new gun policies enacted in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting in Florida.

Oregon law allows residents to buy shotguns or rifles starting at 18.

Tyler Watson's lawsuits filed against the retailers in two separate counties claim he faced age discrimination from Dick's and Walmart.

The lawsuits in Jackson and Josephine counties both ask a judge to put a stop to the retailers' new gun sale policies and award punitive damages because of the "willful nature of the discrimination."

Legal papers say a store owned by Dick's Sporting Goods in Medford, Oregon, refused to sell Watson a .22-caliber Ruger rifle on Feb. 24. The suit says a Walmart in Grants Pass, Oregon, refused to sell him an unspecified type of rifle on March 3.

Watson did not know about the restrictions when he tried to buy a rifle, his attorney Max Whittington, told The Oregonian/OregonLive, which first reported on the lawsuits Monday. Whittington did not immediately return a call from the AP on Tuesday.

Watson is not part of an organized effort to push back against the retailers' policy, the lawyer added.

"He was really just trying to buy a rifle," Whittington told the newspaper.

Watson, of Gold Hill, Oregon, could not be reached for comment.

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 didn't immediately return a call from The AP on Tuesday.

______

Follow Gillian Flaccus on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/gflaccus

Article Comments

Mason City
Clear
53° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 53°
Albert Lea
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 57°
Austin
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 55°
Charles City
Clear
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Rochester
Clear
52° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 52°
The rest of this weekend will be perfect for outdoor activities!
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Saturday's KIMT StormTeam 3 Weather Forecast

Image

Ronald McDonald House Reaches Out for Support

Image

Prep Football Highlights for Friday Part 2

Image

Prep Football Highlights for Friday Part 1

Image

Peace corps marker

Image

New Chancellor

Image

RIVER CITY UPDATE

Image

Mason City still dealing with aftermath of flooding

Image

Phase 1 of Mason City bike trail system completed

Image

Muddy ground

Community Events