NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- Last week, national retailers Walmart and Dick’s decided to change the age someone could purchase a gun from 18 to 21.
This week a lawsuit was filed against both companies by a 20-year-old in Oregon. He accused them of age discrimination after both stores refused to sell him a firearm.
Bob Marcus, the owner of Bob’s Gun Shop in Norfolk, has mixed feelings regarding the national chain's decision. He continues to sell firearms to 18, 19 and 20-year-olds and has no plans of changing his store policy.
“The first thing I thought of is, ‘how stupid is that’ and the second thing I thought is, ‘it’s there business and they can run it any way that they want,’” said Marcus.
Both Walmart and Dick’s made the controversial decision following the high school shooting in Parkland Florida in February that left 17 people dead.
As a result, 20-year-old Tyler Watson is suing the companies.
“I think the man has a valid point if he has reached the age of majority he should certainly enjoy the benefits of reaching the age of majority,” said Marcus.
In Oregon, as well as in Virginia, state law allows people 18 and older to buy firearms from licensed dealers. Federal law is the same.
“I don’t think the law mandates that you have to sell, it’s just a minimum age,” said Norfolk Attorney Michael Goodove.
Goodove believes these companies have a strong argument as to why they should be able to implement their own rules regarding who they sell guns to.
“I think the position they are going to take is we are not discriminating against young people we have a bonified reason to do this for safety concerns,” said Goodove.
13News Now reached out to these companies. Dick’s did not respond, but Walmart issued this statement:
“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it. Once we are served with the complaint, we will respond as appropriate with the Court.”
Goodove said he could see the outcome of this case going either way.
“What’s important for the viewers to understand is, because a lot of people when you say Second Amendment, people think, 'I have the right to own a gun,' well that gun ownership and gun purchase can be infringed if there are reasonable restrictions on it,” said Goodove.