20-year-old sues Walmart, Dick's because they wouldn't sell him - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

20-year-old sues Walmart, Dick's because they wouldn't sell him guns

In the complaint, Watson claimed a clerk the Medford, OR, Field and Stream store refused to sell him a .22 caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle on Feb. 24 after he told the clerk his age. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic) In the complaint, Watson claimed a clerk the Medford, OR, Field and Stream store refused to sell him a .22 caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle on Feb. 24 after he told the clerk his age. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PORTLAND, OR (RNN) - A man is suing Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods over their gun sales restrictions.

Tyler Watson, 20, of Gold Hill, OR, alleges age discrimination, citing an Oregon state nondiscrimination statute, after the two retailers refused to sell him guns.

The lawsuits, filed Monday, claimed Watson is suing to stop the stores from "unlawfully discriminating against 18- to 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations." He also seeks unspecified damages and attorney's fees.

"In light of recent events, we reviewed our policy on firearm sales," said Randy Hargrove, senior director of national media relations at Walmart. "As a result, we raised the age restriction for the purchase of firearms and ammunition to 21 years of age. We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it.  Once we are served with the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the Court."

Field and Stream store is owned and operated by Dick's Sporting Goods, which announced Feb. 28 they were restricting the sale of guns to anyone younger than 21 years of age and ending the sale of assault-style firearms.

In the complaint, Watson claimed a clerk the Medford, OR, Field and Stream store refused to sell him a .22 caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle four days before the company announced the new policy.

The Field and Stream employee said Watson couldn't buy any guns and ammunition because he was younger than 21.

Watson filed a separate suit against Walmart after a store in Grants Pass, OR, refused to sell him a rifle on March 3.

Walmart announced Feb. 28 they will no longer sell guns and ammunition to people younger than 21. 

Watson isn't part of an organized movement, his lawyer, Max Whittington, told the Oregonian.

“He was really just trying to buy a rifle,” the lawyer said, adding Watson was unaware of the policy when he went to Field and Stream.

The retailers changed their gun sales policy in the wake of the Parkland, FL, school shooting on Feb. 14 that killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Lawmakers in Washington, DC, and Tallahassee, FL, have struggled for a response to the violence.

Oregon, however, responded with the first new gun control law since the Parkland, FL, shooting.

The bill, which was signed into law Monday, forbids domestic abusers and people under restraining orders from owning firearms, the Associated Press reported.

Copyright 2018 Raycom News Network. All rights reserved.

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