Oregon 20-year-old sues Dick’s, Wal Mart over new gun age restrictions

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A 20-year-old Oregon man has filed two lawsuits against companies that recently changed their gun sale policies to prevent anyone under the age of 21 from purchasing a rifle.

Tyler Watson alleges in one of the lawsuits that he attempted to purchase a .22-caliber rifle from Field and Stream, which is owned by Dick’s Sporting Goods, on Feb. 24, but was turned away because of his age.

Dick’s publicly announced four days later that it would stop selling guns to people under the age of 21, and would also end the sale of assault-style rifles and high-capacity magazines. The company made the announcement in response to the shooting at a Florida high school last month.

In the second lawsuit, Watson accuses Walmart, which announced its new gun-sale policy on the same day as Dick’s, of age discrimination, saying that he tried to purchase a rifle at a Walmart store on March 3.

{mosads}A Walmart spokesman told The Oregonian in a statement that the company would stand by its new policy, but that he has not seen Watson’s complaint.

Watson is asking judges to force both companies to “stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19, and 20 year-old customers at all Oregon locations.” He also seeks punitive damages and attorney fees.

Oregon law states that residents over the age of 18 can purchase shotguns or rifles. Federal law restricts the sale of handguns to people over the age of 21.

In the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, raising the rifle-purchasing age has been the focus of some lawmaker discussions on gun control. Police say the 19-year-old accused in the Parkland shooting legally purchased the AR-15 rifle he used to kill 17 people and injure 14 others.

President Trump has called for the age to be raised, saying that he thinks it’s something lawmakers should “give very serious thought to.”

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