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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.

OR law allows state residents to buy shotguns or rifles as of age 18.

Dick's and Walmart restricted gun sales to people 21 and older in the wake of the Florida high school massacre. A 19-year-old gunman killed 17 people at the Parkland, Fla., school.

The lawsuit against Walmart and a second lawsuit filed against Dick's in Jackson County on Monday both allege that the companies' policies violated OR discrimination law, which prohibits a place of public accommodation from refusing to serve a customer based on their race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation OR age.

Watson's other lawsuit claims the Walmart in Grants Pass, Oregon refused to sell him a rifle on March 3, but a clerk refused to do because it's Walmart's "new policy not to sell any firearms or ammunition, including rifles and shotguns and their ammunition, to anyone under 21".

Watson encountered a similar scenario when he went to a Walmart store in Grants Pass, Ore., on March 3 "for the objective of buying a rifle", according to a separate lawsuit filed in state Circuit Court.

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




But a spokesman for Walmart told NBC News the company stands by its policy.

Walter has asked Walmart and Dicks to stop discriminating between the ages 18, 19 and 20.

"He was really just trying to buy a rifle", his attorney Max Whittington said.

"I believe that at age 18 you should be allowed to purchase a firearm, at age 18 you can serve in the military, you can vote, you're in that draft form, so at age 18 you should be allowed to purchase a firearm period", McCullar says. The attorney also said Watson is not part of any organized movement taking action against retailers that have enacted tighter restrictions on gun sales.

While federal age discrimination laws and those in most states apply only to people over 40, Oregon's law generally prohibits age discrimination against the selling of goods to anyone above the age of 18, said John Donohue, a professor at Stanford Law School. DICK'S will not sell high-capacity magazines that allow shooters to fire far more rounds than traditional weapons without reloading, as well as other accessories used with weapons similar to the AR-15. The two retailers said their decisions were a reaction to the mass shooting. President Donald Trump has also said the age to purchase a rifle should be raised.

It's unclear how effective the new Walmart and Dick's policies will be in curbing gun violence. Dick's Sporting Goods announced its policy to raise the minimum age to buy weapons on February 28.


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