A 20-year-old southern Oregon man filed suit against Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart after he says both national retailers refused to sell him a rifle in recent days, reported The Oregonian.
Tyler Watson's lawsuit could be the first of its kind in the U.S., according to his attorney, Max Whittington. Whittington knows of no others.
Watson claims he encountered age discrimination when he tried to buy a .22-caliber Ruger rifle on Feb. 24 in Medford at Field & Stream, which is owned by Dick's Sporting Goods.
That was four days before the retailer announced that it wouldn't sell guns to anyone under 21 in the wake of a 19-year-old gunman's rampage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that killed 17 people on Feb. 14.
Walmart made a similar nationwide announcement the same day as Dick's.
Watson, who lives in Gold Hill, isn't part of an organized movement against retailers that have tightened policies on gun sales, Whittington said.
“He was really just trying to buy a rifle,” the lawyer said. “He didn’t know about the policy when he went into" Field & Stream.
Watson then went into the Grants Pass Walmart and again tried to buy a gun, according to his suit. He was told no, his suit states. It's not clear if Watson knew then of the restrictions.
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