In a statement shared with FN, a Walmart spokesperson said: “In light of recent events, we reviewed our policy on firearm sales. 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.”
What We Reported Earlier
A 20-year-old Oregon man is suing both Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods for discrimination after the retailers reportedly refused to sell him a firearm.
In his lawsuit obtained by The Oregonian, Tyler Watson claimed that he attempted to buy a .22-caliber Ruger rifle on Feb. 24 at Field & Stream, a subsidiary of Dick’s, but an employee denied him the sale, citing the athletic and outdoor giant’s new policy. Dick’s announced its decision to restrict gun sales to customers 21 and older just four days prior to Watson’s attempted purchase. He added that the Grants Pass Walmart Supercenter turned him away when he tried to buy a gun on March 3.
Oregon state law allows residents who are at least 18 years old to buy shotguns and rifles.
Watson’s legal action requests that Dick’s and Walmart “stop their unlawful discriminating against 18-, 19- and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon store locations,” according to the report. He is also seeking unspecified damages.
The retailers’ tighter gun policy comes in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., in which accused gunman Nikolas Cruz, who was 19, killed 17 students and school employees on Valentine’s Day. Cruz used a legally purchased AR-15 semi-automatic weapon in the massacre — part of an arsenal of around 10 rifles, according to authorities, with one of those guns having been bought at Dick’s (but not used during the massacre).
The shooting spurred yet another national debate on gun control — this time, powered by the very students who survived the rampage. More than a dozen companies have since cut corporate ties with the National Rifle Association.
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