© 2023 | Jefferson Public Radio
Southern Oregon University
1250 Siskiyou Blvd.
Ashland, OR 97520
541.552.6301 | 800.782.6191
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Oregon Stores Can't Refuse To Sell Guns Based On Age

<p>Guns for sale at a Portland gun show.</p>

Dave Blanchard


Guns for sale at a Portland gun show.

(Updated, Aug. 23) - Oregon retailers who refuse to sell a gun to a person based on age are violating the state’s nondiscrimination law, the state’s Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries found this week.

Hannah Brumbles, 18, filed a civil rights complaint with the state after Walmart refused to sell her a rifle. Her suit said the retail store discriminated against her based on age. The state sided with Brumbles. 

After the Parkland, Florida, high school shooting in February, several national retailers announced they would no longer sell firearms or ammunition to people under the age of 21.

Labor Commissioner Brad Avakian made it clear earlier this year in a memo to legislative leaders that he believes the state’s public accommodation law would need an exemption — such as the one that exists for marijuana and alcohol sales — to give retailers the legal right to refuse selling guns to those younger than 21.

The state’s labor commission is in the process of drafting legislation to allow retailers to make an age distinction when it comes to selling firearms without violating public accommodation law.

A hearing to award damages to Brumbles is set for November. At that time, an administrative judge will also make a final decision on the case and can either confirm BOLI's earlier finding or reject it. 

Copyright 2018 Oregon Public Broadcasting

Lauren Dake is a political reporter and producer for Oregon Public Broadcasting. Before OPB, Lauren spent nearly a decade working as a print reporter. She’s covered politics and rural issues in Oregon and Washington.