Brown v. ATF

Brown v. ATF

United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit

Previously: United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia – Docket No: 1:22-cv-00080

Filed: September 27, 2022

Status: Active

Federal law prohibits a federal firearm licensee (“FFL”) from selling/transferring a firearm to an individual under twenty-one years old. States are free to regulate the acquisition and possession of handguns as they see fit. As a result, in a number of states, an 18-20-year-old (“Young Adult”) may acquire a handgun, but not directly from an FFL, leaving them to the mercy of the secondary market and without the ability to purchase a new handgun of their preference. 

The Second Amendment’s plain text, as informed by this nation’s history and tradition, reveals that prohibiting the purchase of handguns by Young Adults is constitutionally impermissible. There were no colonial or founding era laws that restricted the rights of Young Adults to keep and carry arms.

On September 27, 2022, the Second Amendment Foundation, filed suit with one other civil rights organizations, and two Young Adults, challenging the federal ban on handgun purchases from FFLs by those who are between the ages of 18 and 21. The lawsuit asks a federal court to declare the handgun purchase ban unconstitutional as it infringes upon the Second Amendment and enjoin the Defendants from enforcing the ban.

Case Team: Adam Kraut, John H. Bryan

Case Documents

Amended Complaint


To access all of the case documents at the District Court, please visit the docket.

To view documents filed on appeal, please visit the Court of Appeals docket.

Case Media