Man sues Dick's, Walmart over new gun policies

Man sues Dick's, Walmart over new gun policies

Man sues Dick's, Walmart over new gun policies

Walmart said last week that it will no longer sell firearms and ammunition to people younger than 21.

Within a week of retailers announcing gun sales bans on adults younger than 21, a lawsuit in OR is seeking to test those policies.

Dick's announced on February 28 that it will no longer sell assault-style rifles and that a customer would have to be 21 years old in order to purchase any gun from its stores.

As private entities, these companies have the right to change their policies at any given time.

Orvis, meanwhile, is focused on shotguns and gear for bird hunting and clay-pigeon shooting. The two retailers said their decisions were a reaction to the mass shooting.

About a week later, on Saturday, Watson went to Walmart to again try to purchase the gun.

The plaintiff, Tyler Watson, claims he faced "Unlawful Age Discrimination".

Attorney Joshua Prince similarly warns that age-based policies adopted by merchants in gun sales could run afoul of discrimination laws in Pennsylvania while legal analyst Colin Kalmbacher at Law and Crime points out that as many as 19 states and jurisdictions have enshrined protections against unlawfully discriminating against customers based on age.

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Dick's and Walmart were among the major gun retailers who raised the minimum age for purchasing a firearm from 18 to 21 following the shooting in Parkland, Florida, in which a 17-year-old allegedly used a legally purchased semiautomatic rifle to kill 17 people.

Without commenting on the merits of Watson's lawsuits, Commissioner Brad Avakian said state law now only allows for age-related exemptions for alcohol and marijuana sales. "Usually, a merchant will sell to any willing buyer, who stays within the law, but there's no requirement to sell a gun to someone who is 18".

New gun policies were adopted on February 28 and this is the first lawsuit filed regarding them.

The bureau will present a bill to add a similar age restriction for gun sales to the Legislature next year for consideration, he said, adding that the policies seemed "appropriate" because they attempted to make public spaces safer.

Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) was the recipient of some unusual options trading on Tuesday.

Watson is seeking punitive damages, attorney fees and for companies like Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart to "stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19 and 20-year-old customers at all OR locations". The retailer had already stopped selling assault-style rifles at its main stores in 2012. He is also asking for punitive damages and for his attorney's fees to be paid.

"He had heard something about the policy change but he didn't expect to be denied service", said Max Whittington, Watson's lawyer.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove told NBC that the retailer plans to defend the new policy.

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