LAKEWOOD, Wash. -- A Bellevue gun shop owner is now getting national attention and persuading others in the industry to follow his lead.
Jason Cazes has been talking to Q13 News since last week about his idea not to sell long guns to most people under 21. Under state law, a person only has to be 18 to buy a long gun -- but has to be 21 to buy a handgun.
Cazes came up with the idea after a young man with an AR-15 killed 17 people, mostly students, at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The suspect in that case is a 19-year-old.
A day after Cazes talked about implementing his new rule at this store, LowPriceGuns.com, another dealer in the South Sound took notice.
Michael Friedmann is an online gun dealer in Lakewood.
AR-15s are his best sellers out of the long guns he sells.
So when he saw Cazes talking about AR-15s on Q13 News on Monday, it got his attention.
Cazes says he will refuse to sell a long gun like an AR-15 to anyone under 21 unless they are in the military or honorably discharged.
“Look, left, I am doing it; look, right, I am doing it. I don’t care who is pissed off at me -- hear me,” Cazes said.
Cazes has been getting a lot of backlash but Friedmann says he’s now compelled to do the same thing.
He’s also a father and he says young people are not emotionally mature enough to handle an AR-15.
He says the rules for long guns should be the same as handguns.
“If we have a 5-day wait for the state level for a pistol for someone who doesn’t have a CPL (concealed pistol license), then we should have that for rifles, too,” Friedmann said.
Friedmann isn’t just changing his online store policy -- he wants to help draft the ideas into law.
“Reached out to Congressman (Dave) Reichert and a few other congressmen,” Friedmann said.
But some disagree with the approach.
“It might not be the right response to hold everyone in that age group responsible,” said Dave Workman, a spokesman for the Second Amendment Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports gun rights.
Workman questions the legality of refusing to sell to a certain age group.
“It’s not taking away your Second Amendment right, it’s delaying you three years,” Friedmann said.
Both gun dealers say the goal is protect the right to own an AR-15 so they are calling on the right and the left to compromise.
An attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation says targeting a certain age group at a workplace would be considered discrimination. But in the case of the dealers, the attorney says in his opinion the owners have the right to change their policies.