Lawsuits challenging Walmart, Dick's Sporting Goods gun sale policies

A Walmart gun counter
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(WJRT) (3/7/2018) - A Michigan teen and a 20-year-old from Oregon are among the first to sue retailers for declining to sell them guns.

Triston Fulton, 18, is suing Dick's Sporting Goods in Troy for refusing to sell him a gun. The store announced last week that it was raising the age to purchase a firearm to 21-years-old.

The retailer changed its gun policy in the wake of the deadly Parkland school shooting. No court date has been set.

An Oregon man has filed a lawsuit claiming Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart discriminated against him when they refused to sell the 20-year-old a rifle.

Walmart also restricted gun sales to adults 21 and older in the wake of the Feb. 14 Florida high school massacre. The 19-year-old accused in the school slaying bought the AR-15 used in the attack legally.

Oregon law allows residents to buy shotguns or rifles starting at age 18.

Tyler Watson's lawsuit filed Monday claims he faced age discrimination from Dick's and Walmart. The lawsuit is believed to be the first filed over the new gun policies.

Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove says the retailer will defend its new policy. A representative from Dick's hasn't responded to a request for comment.

The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries says it will accept complaints from those who believe they have been discriminated against by new policies at Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart that restrict gun sales to people 21 and older.

Commissioner Brad Avakian said in a letter to Oregon House and Senate leaders Tuesday that state law only provides for age-related exemptions for alcohol and marijuana sales.

A 20-year-old Oregon man has sued the retailers, alleging they discriminated against him by refusing to sell him a rifle due to his age.

Avakian says his agency believes changing state law to add an age exemption for gun purchases would be "appropriate" to make public places safer.

The bureau will present a bill to lawmakers in the 2019 legislative session.

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