Gun shop owner reacts to recent Oregon Court of Appeals reversal

"I realize as a store, you have discretionary powers to be able to, on firearms sales especially, you need to be able to deny people for various reasons, but age isn't one of them."

Posted: Oct 16, 2021 8:26 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2021 9:50 PM

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. -- An Oregon Court of Appeals judge has penned an opinion against age-based discrimination by stores that sell guns.

This comes after Lane County Circuit Court dismissed a 2018 lawsuit in which a woman claimed the Bi-Mart in Florence refused to sell her a hunting rifle when she was 18. Bi-Mart was one of several gun retailers across the country who adjusted store policies following a mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.

"It is discriminatory. I mean, the law says you have a legal right to purchase something, so I don't believe they would have the right to tell you you can't," Adam Bryce, one of the owners of GunRunner Arms in Junction City, said.

Bryce said he sees a lot of customers between the ages of 18 and 20 this time of the year.

"Out this direction, most of the guys that are 18 years of age, 20 years of age, these are farm kids that are wanting something to go out and duck hunt with or deer hunt and they have every legal right to own it," Bryce said.

Gun retailers are allowed to refuse to sell to people if they feel something is wrong. That can include the words potential buyers say and the actions they take inside the store. But, this opinion by the Oregon Court of Appeals says the sole reasoning for denying a sale cannot be because of a person's age.

"I realize as a store, you have discretionary powers to be able to, on firearms sales especially, you need to be able to deny people for various reasons, but age isn't one of them," Bryce said.

According to federal law, gun retailers are not allowed to sell handguns to anyone under the age of 21.

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