Stores are legally obligated to sell guns to 18-year-olds in Oregon, unless lawmakers act.

By Katie Shepherd | Published August 21, 2018 Updated August 21, 2018
The Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found this week that a Walmart store in St. Helens violated the state’s nondiscrimination laws when it refused to sell a rifle to a woman who was not yet 21 years old.

Hannah Brumbles, 18, of Deer Island, Ore., filed a civil rights complaint with the state agency in April. She says Walmart discriminated against her by refusing to sell her a rifle, even though Oregon law says individuals over 18 may legally purchase firearms. BOLI agrees.

After stores stopped selling guns to young people under 21 in the wake of a mass shooting in Florida, Oregon teenagers revolted—filing three complaints alleging stores were violating the state constitution by discriminating on the basis of age.

Two previous complaints filed with BOLI were withdrawn before the agency could finish its civil rights investigations.

Brumbles’ case is set for a hearing in November to determine damages, which could be as high as $5,000.

It also sets a precedent: Stores are legally obligated to sell guns to 18-year-olds in Oregon, unless lawmakers act.

In a statement to Walmart spokesman Randy Hargrove said, “In February of this year, we reviewed our policy on firearm and ammunition sales and as a result, we raised the age restriction for the purchase of those items to 21.”

But that policy has run afoul of Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, who state the retail giant is legally required to sell firearms to those of legal age until the age limit is changed (if ever), the story says. Hannah Brumbles, who has been a shooting enthusiast and a hunter since an early age, is seeking $135,000 in damages from the massive retail chain.

“Discrimination is discrimination,” Chris Brumbles, Hannah’s father, told the Willamette Week. Hannah asked for the $135,000 figure because it was the same judgment levied against an Oregon baker for declining to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.

Walmart has offered the teen a $150 settlement that came with a gag order, which she declined, according to the Willamette Week. Charges were officially filed by the state on August 21, with a hearing scheduled for November 2018.

“We stand behind our decision and plan to defend it. We are preparing for the November hearing before the administrative law judge,” Hargrove said in the story,


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