The Gun Rights Advocates Suing Dick's For Not Selling Them A Gun (HBO)

This March, Tristin Fulton walked into a Dick’s Sporting Goods in Troy, Michigan, and asked to take a look at a shotgun.

He wasn’t on a shopping mission. Instead, Fulton knew exactly what would happen — he would be denied because he was under 21. His uncle Joel filmed the whole thing.

Their goal: to set up a test case against a new policy by Dick’s and other big box retailers, including Walmart and Kroger, that banned the purchase of all firearms by anyone under 21 in the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting.

“I was advocating for people’s rights,” Fulton told VICE News Tonight, in an interview at the gun shop his family owns in western Michigan. “When I showed up, and I was like ‘Hey I wanna take a look at that,’ he wouldn’t even put it in my hands. And that’s age discrimination is what that is.

It might sound frivolous, but legal experts say Fulton has a pretty good chance of winning. Michigan’s civil rights law says that no company can refuse service to someone based on their age — so long as what they want is legal. And in Michigan, where Dick’s has two dozen stores, you only have to be 18 to purchase a rifle. His lawsuit is joined by a handful of similar ones in Oregon, which also has a broad nondiscrimination policy. (The Fulton’s say the suits are not coordinated.)

The legal fight against Dick’s is a sign of the shifting lines in the battle over gun control in America. (Dick’s declined to comment.) At a time when Congress and state legislatures seemingly can’t get anything done legislatively, corporations have started to take real action on the issue, with companies like Delta, Fedex, and Levi’s all ending discount programs with the NRA or joined high-profile campaigns against gun violence. Even major financial institutions, like Citibank and Bank of America, instituted tough new policies on how their corporate clients can work with gun dealers or manufacturers.

For conservative gun rights activists like Fulton and his uncle Joel, this is just as much a dire fight as the one they’ve effectively won against government regulation. And they play to fight it exactly the same way: don’t give an inch.

“When it comes to civil rights, when it comes to people’s individual rights, we’re not going to go down the slippery slope and try and climb back up,” Joel Fulton said. “We’re going to nip it in the butt and stop it early.”

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46 thoughts on “The Gun Rights Advocates Suing Dick's For Not Selling Them A Gun (HBO)

  1. I will spearhead a lawsuit for the next privately owned retail establishment (which has its own rights to refuse service to anyone) that denies my 19-year-old son his civil right to purchase beer. THAT'S HIS GOD-GIVEN RIGHT!!

  2. The store should have the right to sell to whoever they want to. We need to start fighting for that right. Open up a gun store and sell to little kids. You will get all of the business because the other stores would not sell to them. The free market works.

  3. hey im from denmark and i think american gun laws are weird and the culture around it im a hunter myself and i have been around fire arms most of my life and there where one rule to follow dont touch the guns without dad present

  4. It’s OK to refuse a customer based on age if there are reasonable safety concerns.
    The decision not to sell to a young person is a valid safety concern even thou the customer has the legal right to buy a firearm.

  5. This is about money or they would petition to get a law passed. Ask them how they feel about selling cakes to homosexuals. And comparing age, aka maturity, to racism? Schizophrenic. Take all their guns and personal vehicles away, please.

  6. Very misleading title. The young guy saying "I've seen five year olds, (his spelling) shoot full size 9mm…". BS. Trying to instigate controversy by starting with a ridiculous statement. Go away. Grow up and then buy your gun. The guy thinks that lying is going to ingratiate him to others. It simply shows a pronounced character flaw. Full of it aren't we ? I came here to give some support and you turned me off with your very first sentence and I didn't watch the rest. Instead of buying a gun you should learn to be truthful. That is far more important. Can't stand bullshitters.

  7. I wonder where all the Christian bakers supporters are? in fact where are all the people on the right? why aren't they singing their mantra? you know the one "a business has the right to refuse service for any reason"
    what is it's the store owners deeply held religious belief that you should be over 21 to buy a firearm?

  8. 4:45 dam right it's the same thing. Age, race, religion… one is not above the other. Glad he stepped in, the other guy sounded like he wanted to say something nice. You have to be passionate and make your point heard.

  9. Every firearm dealer reserves the right to not sell guns to anyone they want for any reason. Even if you pass a background check but the salesman has a “funny feeling” about you, they can deny you on the spot by law.

  10. Ppl in America should have the guns taken away too many stupid ppl will end up getting a gun and when they get one many of them will resort to violence and because they have a gun and someone wrongs them they might be prone to kill someone. Why is Canada more peaceful then America? Because they banned guns from the public so yes as an 18 year old there brains haven't stopped developing in my opinion if they wont take all the guns away it would be best for them to have them at age 25 and only after they pass a complete mental and psychological examination..

  11. In this case, gun ownership is the liberal position and gun control is the restrictive position. It's one of the only liberal positions conservatives hold, and it is one of the most restrictive positions liberals hold.

  12. There's no such thing as "common sense gun control"

    Well, there is. It's not pointing your barrel at anything you don't mean to kill and keeping your finger off the trigger until you're ready to fire. That's about it.

    The reasoning behind these laws is to stop crime. Right? Criminals don't follow laws, inherently. So by default, all you do with any and all gun laws is criminalize the average gun owner based not on sensibility, rather based on aesthetics and what makes lefties feel safer. It doesn't actually make them safer, these things are nothing but feel good laws for liberals at best, at worst… it's much worse.

    I've personally done this with anti-gun / pro gun control people. Show them a picture of an AR-15 with a 10 round mag in it, right next to a Mini-14 Ranch with a 10 round mag. I've never had one person say the Mini should be banned. Why? Because it doesn't look like an assault rifle. It just looks like any other, wood stocked hinting rifle. Though it functions exactly the same as the AR. Different action of course, but pull the trigger and a .223 / 5.56 round comes out the barrel each time. The original Mini was in fact a select fire assault rifle. The ones you can buy at the gun shop are not. They're semi-automatic rifles.

    So if we're going to talk about TRULY common sense gun laws let me suggest a few things.

    1. Declare pistol permits unconstitutional.
    2. Declare "assault rifle bans" unconstitutional.
    3. Repeal the NFA
    4. Repeal the Brady Bill.
    5. Abolish the ATF. Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, none of which are illegal, so why do we have a government body to… do what?
    6. Charge any and all politicians who signed in such laws with treason and string em up on the White House lawn, live streamed online for all to see.
    7. Don't buy a Hi-point 9mm Carbine. They're junk.

    That last one isn't really a gun law, it's just… I'm still pissed I payed money for that thing, 10 years later… I had half a mind to use it as a canoe anchor, it's that bad..

  13. No one understands why not selling a gun because of age is so bad. It’s literal discrimination…federal law prevents discrimination. It’s the same thing as not selling a gun based off of gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, ect. This kid is a victim from discrimination, and dick’s is breaking the law. It’s as simple as that. It’s not opinion. It’s not choice. It’s federal law. If dick’s doesn’t want to sell guns to people under 21 their only option is to completely stop selling guns to everyone.

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