20-year-old sues Dick's Sporting Goods, Walmart over new gun policies

Dick's is in the business of grandstanding: Letter to the Editor

Dick's is in the business of grandstanding: Letter to the Editor

Delpha Capital Management LLC purchased a new stake in Dicks Sporting Goods Inc (NYSE:DKS) in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the SEC.

Dick's previously raised the sales age to 21 in the wake of last month's school shooting in Parkland, Fla.

The Walmart and Dicks Sporting Goods in Medford, Oregon had announced last week about restricting the sale of weapons to people below 21 years of age.

Field & Stream, a sporting goods store owned by Dick's, reportedly refused to sell the 20-year-old a weapon on February 24.

In total, he guesses somewhere between 75 and 100 businesses offered him a job in places across the country, but in the end, he made a decision to work at EJW's, another local store in Morehead City that sells firearms.

In an open letter announcing the policy change, Dick's chairman and CEO Edward Stack wrote, "Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims and their loved ones". Since then, students and parents have been demanding lawmakers to raise the minimum age to buy guns of any kind to 21 from 18.

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

Walmart quickly followed with similar policy changes, raising its age limit and removing items from its website resembling assault-style rifles, like airsoft guns and toys.

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But he said the spirit of the law would point to 18-year-olds being able to buy rifles in any store that sells them.

Tyler Watson, a 20-year-old from Gold Hill, Oregon, alleged in lawsuits filed separately against both retailers that they discriminated against him based on his age when they refused to sell him firearms.

Watson is asking for injunctive relief to force Walmart and Dick's to stop unlawfully discriminating against 18, 19, and 20-year-old customers at all OR locations. He is also seeking punitive damages for "illegal age discrimination" in violation of state law. A Walmart employee cited the company's new age requirement, according to the lawsuit filed two days later. The 19-year-old accused in the school slaying bought the AR-15 used in the attack legally.

In a statement, a spokesman said Walmart would respond in court when it received the lawsuit.

But customers age 18 to 21 will get an exemption if they have proof of completing a hunter education and safety course, Orvis said.

On Monday, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown signed gun control bill HB4143 into law, closing the "intimate Partner Loophole", barring all convicted stalkers and domestic abusers from owning or buying guns and ammunition. The two retailers said their decisions were a reaction to the mass shooting.

Stack's statements come in the wake of 17 people killed in a February 14 massacre at a high school in Parkland, Fla., in which the gunman used a semi-automatic rifle.

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