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An Oregon man is suing Dick's and Walmart after being denied a rifle purchase

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By: KATU.com Staff

PORTLAND, Ore. (KATU) - A 20-year-old Oregon man has filed a lawsuit against Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart after the retailers wouldn’t let him buy a rifle.

After the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida last month, the stores instituted new policies, stating they would no longer sell guns to anyone under 21.

Tyler Watson of Gold Hill in southern Oregon says the new policies are a form of age discrimination.

Watson filed separate lawsuits against both companies.

According to his lawsuit against Dick’s Sporting Goods, Watson went into a Medford Field & Stream, which is owned by the company, Saturday, Feb. 24 and asked to buy a .22-caliber Ruger 10/22 rifle. The clerk denied the sale because Watson was under 21.

Watson’s lawsuit against Walmart says he went into its store in Grants Pass on Saturday, March 3 and asked to buy a rifle but was denied because he was under 21.

Federal law, as well as Oregon and Washington, have an age restriction of 18 years of age to buy a rifle or shotgun.

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Lewis and Clark Law Professor Tung Yin said last week it's perfectly legal for a business to set an age limit higher than the law.

"We recognize there are certain categories where it’s wrong to single people out. Race, gender, religion, national origin, and depending on the state, sexual orientation," said Yin. "But age has never really been one of those."

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