BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Dick's Sporting Goods again is facing a lawsuit over its decision to not sell firearms to anyone younger than 21.
At 18, Tristin Fulton, of Battle Creek, Mich., can vote and drive. He just can't buy a firearm from any Dick's Sporting Goods store.
Fulton, a Pennfield High School senior and son of Freedom Firearms co-owner Jared Fulton, filed a lawsuit against the retail giant in Oakland County (Mich.) Circuit Court on Tuesday for refusing to let him buy a shotgun because of his age.
Dick's stopped selling firearms to anyone under 21 on Feb. 28, citing the Feb. 14 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 students and educators dead as a reason for its decision.
"I'm 18," Fulton said Thursday. "I'm legally allowed to purchase a firearm, and I should have been allowed to.
"By denying me my right to purchase a firearm that day, they violated the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act," he added.
Michigan's Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act prohibits discriminatory practices, policies and customs on the basis of religion, age, race, national origin, sex, height, weight and other factors.
Fulton tried to buy the shotgun in Troy, Mich. Dick's Sporting Goods did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.
Dick's is not the only retail giant under the gun for raising the minimum age for buying a firearm from 18 to 21.
Tyler Watson, a 20-year-old Oregon man, sued Walmart and a Field & Stream store, owned by Dick's, after he was not allowed to buy a .22-caliber rifle because of his age.
Watson tried to buy a firearm at Field & Stream four days before the retailers announced their new policies and about a week later from Walmart. He was turned away both times.
Fulton wants Dick's to rescind its new policy, said his attorney, Jim Makowski. He's also asking for monetary damages.
"If they truly don't want to sell to anyone between 18 and 20, then they can elect not to sell firearms in their stores," said Makowski, "but they cannot sell to anyone based on age."
Dick's also stopped selling assault-style rifles, also referred to as modern sporting rifles. It had already removed them from Dick's stores after the Sandy Hook school shooting in Connecticut in December 2012, but removed them last month from its 35 Field & Stream stores.
Dick's also is not selling high capacity magazines or bump stocks that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire more rapidly.
"We support and respect the Second Amendment, and we recognize and appreciate that the vast majority of gun owners in this country are responsible, law-abiding citizens," Dick's said in the statement. "But we have to help solve the problem that’s in front of us. Gun violence is an epidemic that’s taking the lives of too many people, including the brightest hope for the future of America — our kids."
Contributing: The Associated Press. Follow Noe Hernandez on Twitter: @sayyesnoe