20 Year Old Sues Dicks & Walmart Over Gun Age Discrimination Policy


20 Year Old Sues Dicks & Walmart Over Gun Age Discrimination Policy

U.S.A.-(Ammoland.com)- Tyler Watson, 20 years old, has filed a lawsuit against Dicks Sporting Goods and Walmart for age discrimination.

The 20-year-old man from Oregon filed the lawsuit in two separate counties after both retailers refused to sell him a Ruger rifle because he was under 21 years of age according to a report from Oregon Live.

In recent days both retailers raised the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21 citing the school shooting in Parkland, Florida where Nicholas Cruz killed 17 of his former classmates with a rifle. At the time of the shooting Cruz was 19 years old.

In the days after the school shooting, Congress has been facing increasing pressure to raise the minimum age to buy a rifle from 18 to 21. It appears that this gun control push will fail in Congress, but some retailers have caved in to the anti-gun groups such as the Bloomberg funded, Everytown For Gun Safety.

In some situations, a rifle as simple as a Ruger 10/22 might be the right answer.
Ruger 10/22

According to the lawsuit, Watson first attempted to buy a .22 caliber Ruger from a Field & Stream store in Medford, Oregon on February 24th, 2018 and he was denied due to his age. Field & Stream is a subsidiary of Dicks Sporting Goods which also changed their age policy for buying rifles from 18 to 21.

Watson then tied to buy a rifle from a Walmart store in Grants Pass. Walmart once again denied Watson per their new age policy of not selling any firearms to anyone under the age of 21. Federal law states that the age for buying a handgun is 21, but the age requirement for buying a long gun is 18.

“He was really just trying to buy a rifle,” said, Watson's attorney, Max Whittington.

Whittington seems to be implying that Watson did not know about the new age policies of the stores when he attempted to purchase the rifles.

Dicks Sporting Goods announced the official change to the gun sale policy on February 28th, 2018 even though it was in effect on February 24th, 2018 when Watson first tried to purchase a rifle from the Field & Stream store. This timeframe lending credence to Watson's lawyer's implied claim.

Watson is suing to end the discriminatory practices put in place by the retailers. He is also suing for an undisclosed amount in damages.

The lawsuit is the first in the nation to challenge the new age restrictions on long gun sales that have been put in place by some retailers such as Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods.

I tried reaching out to several attorneys to get their opinions on the legality of store discriminating against people who are legally old enough to by a long gun. The central question in the case is if these stores violated Watson's civil rights by denying him the sale based on his age.

In Colorado, the state fined Masterpiece Cakeshop for discriminating against a gay couple by not baking their wedding cake. The fine has been held up in the federal courts and is currently in front of the United States Supreme Court. None of the lawyers were willing to go on record before reading the suit. One lawyer did state that the case could be problematic for the plaintiff.

Randy Hargrove, a spokesman for Walmart, told a reporter from Oregon Live that the mega-chain will fight the lawsuit.

“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it,” Hargrove said. “While we haven't seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court.”

This court case could have major implications nationwide.

*Dicks Sporting Goods did not respond to our request for comment.

John Crump
John Crump

About John Crump

John is a NRA instructor and a constitutional activist. He is the former CEO of Veritas Firearms, LLC and is the co-host of The Patriot News Podcast which can be found at www.blogtalkradio.com/patriotnews. John has written extensively on the patriot movement including 3%'ers, Oath Keepers, and Militias. In addition to the Patriot movement, John has written about firearms, interviewed people of all walks of life, and on the Constitution. John lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and sons and is currently working on a book on the history of the patriot movement and can be followed on Twitter at @crumpyss or at www.crumpy.com.

  • 23 thoughts on “20 Year Old Sues Dicks & Walmart Over Gun Age Discrimination Policy

    1. It comes down to the breakdown of family values. Guns have been around for years, mass shooting has been the last thirty years. What has changed? It’s easy to blame guns but emasculated boys growing up without both parents, moral values, consequences for poor decisions, coddling, blaming teachers for children’s misbehavior, and using technology as a babysitter. Turning around families to sit together at the dinner table and discuss topics insightful to their lives is a topic not touched by politicians or media. These things are normalized in television family setting were children are seen with headphones and texting during their meals and it being accepted in modern family climate along with rebellious, defient TV hero saving the day while disobeying parental authority. Turning this around is America’s challenge and gun laws won’t make significant change. If it’s not a gun, it’ll be a pressure cooker. If not a pressure cooker, a machete. Methods may change but the underlying problem will increase without intervention.

    2. If these companies don’t want to sell rifles or shotguns to legal age( people (18 + years old) then the companies should quit the firearms business altogether.

    3. Has everyone in this country gone nuts? I was in a gunshop lately and a new police office couldn’t buy an off duty back up handgun because he wasn’t old enough!!! But the police department will give him one and put him on the street.
      A 17 year old, with parental permission, can join the Marine Corps, learn to really efficiently KILL people, and get behind a M2HB 50 cal, or maybe an artillery piece or a Main Battle Tank. But he can’t buy a gun or have a beer!!
      The local courthouse has a metal detector and at least 5 deputies standing around. Our schools have no protection!! When was the last time you heard of a courthouse being a site of a mass shooting.
      The only way to stop school shootings is to HARDEN THE SCHOOLS and have police officers there all the time, just like the courthouse. What’s so important about the courthouse anyway, except the politicians hang out there.
      Question, how many Capitol Police guard the Capitol? How many police were at the school in Florida, 1, hiding behind a bush!!!

    4. They will lose unless they get absolute ignore the law judges to hear this federal and state law are above ignorant policies I have owned possessed and varied long arms since I was 16 prior to Johnson having Kennedy killed and starting the long slippery slide by ramming thru 1968 gca using Nazi Germany plans and laws even quoting Hitler’s statements this was a almost truly free country

      1. You make good points and they’d be much easier to understand if you’d use punctuation marks and capitalization where appropriate.

    5. If they want to make the age 21 to purchase and own long guns, then they should immediately HONORABLY DISCHARGE every person in the military that is under the age of 21. If they can’t buy and use a gun in civilian life then they can’t be issued and use a gun in military life. Let’s show them what age discrimination really is!

    6. The phrase “how the cookie crumbles”comes to mind. It will be most interesting to see “how the cookie crumbles” in these cases, seems like there are two as of now. That Colorado cake case, currently before the U.S. Supreme Court
      Strikes one as more than a little interesting too.

    7. I think Dick’s are being Dicks, but they should not be forced to sell or service anyone who demands it. Just like the Christian bakery that was ordered by a court to bake cakes for gay wedding. Both are wrong.

      1. The problem is State law. They cannot refuse to sell a legal product to someone because of an arbitrary restriction set by them. For example, suppose they said we’re not going to sell beer to anyone under the age of 35? They can’t do that because that particular State has passed legislation stating you can’t discriminate by age. Now, in another State, without such a law, you’d be fine saying that. This is a can of political worms that Dick’s and WallyMart brought on themselves and, in those States with age discrimination laws, I hope they lose their ass.

    8. I am with you Tyler Watson, I hope the stores find out they can’t change the law on a whim just to suet them selves . The law said 18 for long guns then it should be 18 until the government changes it, not a store owner. GO GO GO Tyler Watson . to many people think , oh i will just protest it and what i think will be the law, the heck with what other people think. THAT IS NOT HOW IT WORKS , I hope you win. Thank You very much Tyler Watson.

    9. If you want to raise the age for buying weapons to 21, then there goes the voting age, drinking age and draft age.
      Either you are an adult, or not. Pick one, and quit being wishy-washey. For the record, 21 sounds fine to me, but I’m getting to be an old coot.

    10. And isn’t this exactly what the lib-progs would do to assert their rights. I distinctly remember those bakers who were forced to make a cake for that gay couple.

    11. Sounds like a situation tailor made for a class action lawsuit. There has to be at least a couple-three thousand attorneys that will jump on this.

    12. A lawsuit has been filed against Dick’s in Michigan as well. The plaintiff is Triston Fulton and the attorney is Jim Makowski. Makowski is suing Dick’s for violation of Michigan’s Elliot Larson law, which he says prevents discrimination based on age.

    13. How can we help? Does he have a GoFundMe page or anything. I’m sure he didn’t receive any big donations from the Hollywood Elite’s.

    14. A couple of things here. First, be more aware of the political al b’s by these retailers and second, will he ever shop at Wal-Mart or Dicks again.

    15. Hey moe-rons, you can fight the lawsuit all you want, you’re going to lose. As long as state law hasn’t changed they have to follow the law. No ifs, ands, or buts. There needs to be a bunch of under 21 people that do this exact same thing so that there is a glut of lawsuits against these retailers.

      1. @Jambo…You beat me to it . I was just thinking what would happen if a suit were filed in every jurisdiction in the
        U S . Or would all subsequent suits be tossed because of the original? Seems like this would be a way to fight it , and in addition to filing for damages sue for court costs and legal fees.

        1. I’m not surprised about the lawsuit. I wrote previously that attorneys will be salivating at the big bucks. A few more plaintiffs and they could make it a Class action status.

          Hit them where it hurts …. there pocket books.

    16. Good deal. I had 17 year olds hauling missiles from the plant in Arkansas to the storage in Oklahoma. It’s not the age and it is the law.

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