Dick’s settles age discrimination suit over refused gun sale to man under 21
By Chris Eger
The controversial big box sporting goods retailer and a 20-year-old Oregon man they refused to sell a gun to based on his age have reached a settlement.
Tyler Watson, who claimed that Dick’s violated the state’s discrimination statutes after they refused to sell him a rifle because he was not at least 21 years old, has reportedly reached an agreement to end a pending lawsuit. The terms of the settlement have not been released but the man had sought $1 million in damages.
Watson filed his legal challenge earlier this year after he tried to buy a Ruger 10/22 from a Field & Stream store, owned by Dick’s, in Medford and was refused due to his age. While federal regulators advise licensed gun dealers they can exercise their right to refuse potentially unlawful firearms transactions, Watson brought Dicks to court over Oregon’s discrimination protections where the law seemed to be on the would-be gun buyer’s side.
“From the text of the statute, it looked like a very strong case,” Jim Oleske, a professor at Lewis and Clark Law School specializing in anti-discrimination law, told Oregon Public Broadcasting in reference to the filing.
Dick’s in February changed its gun policy to refuse sales of firearms