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20-year-old takes Dick’s, Walmart to court over gun sale

An Oregon man has hauled two major sporting goods retailers into court, claiming they have violated the state’s discrimination laws after they refused to sell him a rifle due to his age.

Tyler Watson, 20, filed suit in a state court against both Dick’s and Walmart arguing the stores, who sell sporting goods to include firearms to the general public, specifically refused to sell him a rifle because he was under age 21, citing recently adopted company policies.

According to court documents, Watson tried to buy a Ruger 10/22 from a Field & Stream store, owned by Dick’s, in Medford on Feb. 24 and was refused due to his age. Last week, Watson doubled-down by going to a Walmart in Grant’s Pass, where he was similarly rebuffed for the same reason.

While federal regulators advise licensed gun dealers they can, and should, exercise their right to refuse potentially unlawful firearms transactions, Watson is taking the big box stores to court over Oregon’s discrimination statutes where the case may hold some legal water.

Jim Hargreaves, a retired county judge in the state, told Willamette Week that Oregon law states that as long as a person is an adult, they can’t be refused something based on age that’s ordinarily available to other adults.

“They [sellers] can’t set their own age limit because the statute has already done that,” Hargreaves said. “They don’t have any authority because the statute specifically says you can’t as a merchant discriminate against either young people or old people. If you’re selling something you have to sell it to anyone who is entitled to buy it by law.”

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.

Max Whittington, Watson’s attorney in the Oregon lawsuits, said they may be the first of their kind filed in the country.

As for Walmart, a spokesman for the retailer told Oregon Live they are standing behind their policy, despite the legal action.



  • equestrian_colt

    The push was to move AR Firearms to 21 NOT all Rifles. You companies need to quit trying to suck up to Libtards there are just as many gun owners as there are Libtards.


  • John Yapuncich

    The w/forethought, breaking of a law becomes a felony & if it involves others, a felonious conspiracy. It can be, that if someone decides NOT to obey a law become treason. Anti-gun & anti-life people seem to have a special place in the hearts of federal judges as do all the wealthy. I hope this young man & his capable attorneys rake Dick’s & Wal-Mart over the coals. the only thing that influences these people is loss of money. NOthing else.


    • William L. Ramsburg



      • John Yapuncich

        It is good you are on the same page as i am, as most of us are. I hope his lawyers might read my 1st comment & perhaps, by Grace of God, get something they can use to help us all.


        • John

          Speaking of God… if we would just turn our nation back to Him, we would all be a lot better off. We need to get the anti-Christian, anti-God Muslims out of our country!


  • gpf1947

    In 1968, federal legislation set the parameters for who could and could not purchase firearms and that was age 21and over for handguns and age 18 and over for long guns, i.e.: rifles and shotguns…unless you were otherwise prohibited from possessing them…such as convicted felons. Pesonally, I’ve used firearms since I was about 10 years old…I am now 70. Also, the gun control crowd wants to ban semi-autos as “too dangerous” for the public to own…pleeeeaaaassseee get real…the first semi-auto I fired was when I was 12 or 13…belonged to school friend…and I have used numerous ones since that time…don’t call them a recent invention either as the first ones were developed about 50 years before I was born…they came out in the late 19th century…well over one hundred years ago. And yes, I own an evil AR TYPE…a couple of them actually…and no, you will NEVER get it from me!!!


  • keith andrew bounds

    GOOD JOB young man!!!


  • Keith

    Hear ye hear ye the liberals are like children playing a game they just make the rules up as they go along and the laws don’t apply to them for they’re above us deplorables !


  • Michael F Freeze

    Clearly age discrimination! Are there Federal laws prohibiting age discrimination? Hopefully this law suit will send a strong message that if you are a firearms dealer you have to follow the rules, you dont get to make them up!


  • donniec

    so if you can’t own a firearm until your 21,does that mean you aren’t old enough to be in the armed forces until your 21? They do have guns right?


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