If you’ve been paying any attention to the recent bout of virtue signaling coming from massive corporations you’d know that retailers are beginning to raise the price to purchase a long gun to 21. This was in response to the Parkland School shooting where a 19-year-old utilized legally purchased firearms in his crime. Companies like Dick’s Field and Stream, Wal Mart and Kroger are raising the price to buy guns to 21.
This is in slight defiance to Federal law that states anyone over the age of 18 can purchase a long gun. Handguns have long been restricted to folks over the age of 21. This new method flies in the face of actual reason and logic and is essentially a campaign to look good and buy publicity and public support. It’s not made to make a difference, it’s made to get invisible internet points.
The idea this ban will do anything to prevent a shooting is foolish. The Parkland shooter was an anomaly even among mass shooters. This feel-good move is simply these larger companies supporting smaller FFLs. I have no doubt your local gun store would love to inherit the 18, 19, and 20-year-olds adults these companies are tossing to the wayside.
Does that mean we have to take it lying down? Of course not, and days after the announcement of these changes a 20-year-old in Oregon attempted to buy a rifle. A simple Ruger 10/22 from both Dicks and Walmart. He was denied by both and decided that wasn’t right.
He’s now filed a lawsuit against both retailers. Tyler Watson filed his lawsuit in Jackson County, Oregon and may have an uphill battle. Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said, “We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it.”
The basis of the lawsuit is age discrimination. Federally age discrimination only applies to individuals over 40. However, Oregon has an interesting state law that prohibits discrimination based on age. The Law in Oregon reads:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2) of this section, all persons within the jurisdiction of this state are entitled to the full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation, without any distinction, discrimination or restriction on account of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status or age if the individual is of age, as described in this section, or older.
(2) Subsection (1) of this section does not prohibit:
(a) The enforcement of laws governing the consumption of alcoholic beverages by minors and the frequenting by minors of places of public accommodation where alcoholic beverages are served;
(b) The enforcement of laws governing the use of marijuana items, as defined in ORS 475B.015 (Definitions for ORS 475B.010 to 475B.395), by persons under 21 years of age and the frequenting by persons under 21 years of age of places of public accommodation where marijuana items are sold; or
(c) The offering of special rates or services to persons 50 years of age or older.
(3) It is an unlawful practice for any person to deny full and equal accommodations, advantages, facilities and privileges of any place of public accommodation in violation of this section. [Formerly 30.670; 2003 c.521 §1; 2005 c.131 §1; 2007 c.100 §5; 2015 c.614 §27]
I wish Tyler well, and I hope he is more than successful.
Why It's Personal.
While these policies don't affect 28 year old me, they would have affected 19 year old me. 19 year old me was carrying around an M240 medium machine gun in Afghanistan. I carried that gun day in and day out on patrol in the Helmand Province.
This is why I take it personally. I was an infantry machine gunner and I’d been bangin around Afghanland toting this heavy beast without issue. However, if this policy, or potentially law was in place I couldn’t come home and purchase a Ruger 10/22 a box of ammo to go plinking.
This constant infantilizing of young adults is ridiculous. If we don’t challenge these young men and women with responsibility and trust how do we expect them to grow?