The megastore thought they could just change the law on who could purchase firearms, but is now finding out the hard way that is not how any of this works.
Here is more from USA Today:
A 20-year-old Oregon man has accused Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods of age-discrimination for refusing to sell him a rifle.
Tyler Watson filed Oregon county court lawsuits against the retailers on Monday, six days after they announced they would not sell guns to buyers under 21.The companies added the higher age restriction after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla.
Oregon law allows state residents to buy shotguns or rifles as of age 18. Federal law also allows people 18 and older to buy rifles or shotguns from licensed dealers.
Watson’s lawsuits may be the first of their kind in the U.S., his attorney, Max Whittington, told The Oregonian/Oregon Live, media outlets that first reported the cases on Monday.
Watson went to a Field and Stream store owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods in Medford, Oregon on Feb. 24 “for the purpose of buying a .22 caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle,” according to the lawsuit filed in state Circuit Court for Jackson County.
He left after being told the store would not sell him any firearm, including rifles, shotguns or ammunition for the weapons, unless he was 21, the lawsuit alleged. The refusal came four days before the retail chain publicly announced its new sales policy for firearms.
Watson encountered a similar scenario when he went to a Walmart store in Grants Pass, Oregon on March 3 “for the purpose of buying a rifle,” according to the separate lawsuit filed in state Circuit Court for Josephine County.
Watson did not know about the new age policy for gun sales when he went to the Field and Stream store, Whittington told The Oregonian/Oregon Live. It was not immediately clear whether Watson learned about the change before he went to the Walmart store.
“He was really just trying to buy a rifle,” Whittington said of the initial purchase attempt. The attorney also said Watson was not part of any organized movement taking action against retailers that have enacted tighter restrictions on gun sales.
The lawsuits seek legal injunctions ordering the retailers “to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18,19, and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations,” as well as unspecified punitive damages because of “the willful nature of the discrimination.”