Oregon Man Sues Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart Over Age Discrimination on Gun Sales

By Faye Higbee

We could all see this coming when Dick’s sporting goods, Walmart, Kroger, and others arbitrarily decided to stop sellings guns to anyone under 21. One Oregon man has chosen to sue the corporations for age discrimination.

Tyler Watson, 20, filed the lawsuit on Monday. Oregon law states that persons may purchase a rifle and shotgun at age 18. EIGHTEEN – which is standard in many states, particularly in the West. Mr. Watson isn’t the only person to be stopped by the new policies.

We received notes from a couple of readers of the initial article  who were extremely angry:

“So today I went to Walmart to have some work done to my truck and I stopped by the guns like always and I ask to see a .22 savage and I was denied access BC I was under the age of 21 and not even a week ago I was at the same store to buy a shot gun and there was not a problem then what changed????”

“This is fucking horseshit, i just turned 18 and in the process of joining the USMC and your telling me i cannot buy a gun of my choice particularly an ar 15 whitch i have been working my ass off for a very long time and that includes handguns. My fucking rights shall NOT, and NEVER will be infringed.”

First lawsuit of its kind

Tyler Watson’s attorney, Max Whittington, stated that Tyler did not know of the restrictions when he attempted to buy a rifle at the first store, and it was unclear if he did by the time he tried at the second one.

Oregon Live reported,

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…

…Watson on Saturday 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….  

Oregon law allows residents to buy shotguns or rifles starting at age 18. Watson’s lawsuit says that Dick’s and Walmart’s policies violate Oregon statutes protecting residents against discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation or age, among other things. The law specifically says that the state can ban the sale of alcohol or marijuana to minors but doesn’t mention guns.

Federal law bans firearms retailers from selling handguns, but not rifles or shotguns, to anyone under 21.

Here’s the issue: Alcohol, marijuana, etc. are not Constitutional rights – guns are. They are apples and oranges and not even in the same ball park. Mr. Watson is an adult at 20 years old. The retailers are most definitely in violation of the Oregon law, but it’s the Constitutional issue that is also important in this argument. The legal age for purchasing a handgun from a licensed gun dealer age requirement for handguns is set at 21, which has been in federal law since 1968.

Will activist judges inject their personal beliefs into this situation? Or will common sense prevail? Stay tuned.