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Oregon Court of Appeals rules it’s illegal to deny gun sales to people ages 18 to 20

KTVZ file

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals has reversed a lower court’s decision to throw out an age discrimination lawsuit against a gun retailer, declaring it illegal to deny gun sales to buyers between the ages of 18 and 20.

Brandy Dalbeck filed a $10,000 lawsuit against Bi-Mart in 2018 after the company’s Florence store refused to sell her a hunting rifle when she was 18. Bi-Mart had announced that year it would no longer sell guns and ammunition to people under the age of 21. Companies like Walmart and Dick’s Sporting Goods made similar changes around the same time after 17 students and staff members were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports federal law bans firearms retailers from selling handguns, but not rifles or shotguns, to anyone under 21. Oregon law allows residents to buy shotguns or rifles starting at age 18.

Lane County Circuit Judge Charles D. Carlson dismissed Dalbeck’s case without a trial in 2019.

In his order for dismissal, Carlson said Oregon’s anti-discrimination law did not prohibit places like Bi-Mart from discriminating against people between the ages of 18 and 20 based on age — and even if the law did, Bi-Mart could adopt a policy against selling firearms to those under 21 as a matter of public safety.

Oregon’s appeals court disagreed.

In Wednesday’s opinion penned by Appeals Judge Erin C. Lagesen, the court said Oregon’s anti-discrimination law prohibits age discrimination against anyone 18 and older — except in instances explicitly allowed under separate laws.

The case will be sent back to Lane County Circuit Court

The Associated Press



  1. If the State and Feds recognize 18 years as old enough to go to war, sign contracts, etc, then allow the 18-year-olds all the rights and responsibilities of an adult. IF they are not old enough to be fully considered “Adults” for Pot, Booze, Tobacco products, Firearms until they are 21, then they are not old enough to go to war or sign contracts. All or nothing, declare them Adults either at 18 or 21. Discrimination from a “legal” standpoint?

    1. And voting too. Mature enough to vote, mature enough to exercise all the responsibilities of adulthood. None of this cherry-picking which rights are favored based on political agenda BS.

    2. How about waiting until the brain is at full maturity at 25. We have a gland that is responsible for decision making. That gland does not mature until the age of 25.

    1. I’m unable to find a copy of the ruling, but I doubt this is a Constitutional issue because BiMart isn’t required to sell guns at all.

      It sounds like it’s all about the discrimination, deciding whether or not to serve a particular group of people based on age. So I’d be curious to see what impact it might have on car rentals.

  2. – not emotionally or developmentally mature enough to make informed decisions about having a beer, or a puff of weed but kid you’re free to have a killin’ tool ‘cus anything less would be discrimination… got it?

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