Attorney Discusses Controversial Gun Lawsuit

Tyler Watson filed a lawsuit against Walmart and Dick's Sporting Goods on March 5. NewsWatch 12's Emma Balkenbush sat down with his attorney, Max Whittington, on Thursday to talk about the controversial lawsuit that's grabbing national attention.

Posted: Thu Mar 08 18:44:49 PST 2018
Updated: Thu Mar 08 18:44:50 PST 2018

Speech to Text for Attorney Discusses Controversial Gun Lawsuit

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[a25]gun lawsuit lawyer talks-dual box newswatch 12's emma balkenbush sat down with his lawyer today. she's live at dick's sporting goods to tell us what he had to say. [a26]gun lawsuit lawyer talks-stinger this story started right here. tyler watson walked into this field and stream store about 2 weeks ago to buy a rifle. after he was told no, he tried a grants pass walmart a week later and was again told he couldn't buy it because he wasn't 21. since that lawsuit was filed we've been reachng out to watson's attorney. and today i sat down with him. "how do you feel about going up against two very large law's on our side, um i think ultimately we'll be vindicated." that law he's referring to is oregon's public accomodations law - which says stores cannot discriminate against someone on the basis of age. there are exceptions to that law - which are tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. i asked if his client would accept a settlement... "what we'd accept is if they reversed their policy and stopped these discriminatory practices." and if he sees this lawsuit going to trial ... "i see this going to summary judgment, i don't think there's a lot of facts at issue, i think that the courts will agree to a, agree with us that these practices are discriminatory and enjoin them." whittington says the stores are openly ignoring oregon's laws and need to be held accountable. he says he hasn't been reached out to by the n-r-a or any gun rights groups about the suit. "at this time we're not looking for any support but not at this time, no." his client's end goal is injuctive relief. meaning - a court order would tell walmart and dick's they can no longer refuse to sell a gun to someone because of their age. don't forget - the bureau of labor and industries just sent this letter to the president of the oregon senate and speaker of the house about the bill it plans to introduce next session. it would change oregon's current law to include firearms on the list of exemptions for oregon's public accomodations law. if passed, the bill would make it okay for stores to refuse to sell a gun to someone who isn't 21, similar to tobacco and alcohol. "it wouldnt affect the case, they discriminated against my client now and the current state of the law is that that's illegal." i reached out to both stores. walmart sent us a statement saying it will stand behind its decision and plans to defend it. we have not heard back from dick's sporting goods. reporting live in medford, emma balkenbush, newswatch 12. you can watch that entire interview on o our weather team.
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