In response to Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods announcing they will no longer sell rifles to buyers under the age of 21, despite federal law allowing 18-year-olds to do so, a lawsuit has been filed against them for engaging in age discrimination.
Twenty-year-old Tyler Watson is bringing the lawsuit after Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart employees at different locations refused to sell him a rifle due to their new policy.
According to Willamette Week, the lawsuit against the companies seeks for them to “stop unlawfully discriminating against 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old customers at all Oregon locations” and is looking for punitive damages because of the “willful nature of the discrimination.”
NBC News reports the rifle Watson was attempting to buy chambered the .22-caliber round, one of the smallest calibers available on the market. Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said it plans on defending its new policy.
“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it,” he said. “While we haven’t seen the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the court.”
In its announcement, in addition to the higher age requirement, Walmart also is removing items from its website “resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys.”