Man Claims Dick's, Walmart 'Discriminated' Against Him Over Gun Policy

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A 20-year old OR man filed a lawsuit against Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods.

The retailers changed their gun sales policy in the wake of the Parkland, FL, school shooting on February 14 that killed 17 students and faculty at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. They did so after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people with a legally purchased rifle.

Watson's suit alleges that Dick's policy violates OR law against age-based discrimination for people 18 years and older in places of public accommodations.

Watson is now asking the court to force Walmart and Dick's "to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19, and 20 year-old customers at all OR locations".

Watson's attorney Max Whittington told the Oregonian in an interview published Monday that his client is the first to file suit against the retail giants for their policy change.

Specifically, Makowski is suing Dick's for violation of Michigan's Elliot Larson law, which he says prevents discrimination based on age.

"We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it", he said. This time it isn't sure whether he knew about the new policies.

A Dick's Sporting Goods customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was relieved that the sporting goods giant would no longer sell assault-style rifles.

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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.

He said after seeing what happened in Parkland, Florida, the company doesn't "want to be a part of this story", in light of recent events.

Josh Silverstein, a law professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's W.H. Bowen School of Law, said state discrimination statutes are often narrowly restricted to employment age discrimination or older individuals.

Instead of filing these lawsuits, Watson should have respected Walmart and Dick's by simply going to another store or waiting until he reached his 21st birthday.

Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services records show no vehicle registration results for individuals named Tyler Watson in Gold Hill.

"He was really just trying to buy a rifle", Whittington told the newspaper.

Age is not held to the same standard as businesses discriminating against someone for other reasons.

On Monday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed gun control bill HB4143 into law, closing the "intimate Partner Loophole", barring all convicted stalkers and domestic abusers from owning or buying guns and ammunition. He said there is much more that should be done to prevent school shootings, such as expanding and improving background checks and increasing mental health funding. "But if it's the only step, I think that's a tragedy". Putnam Invs Ltd Liability Corp holds 81,008 shares or 0.01% of its portfolio.

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