Mitchell v. Atkins

Mitchell v. Atkins

United States District Court for the Western District of Washington

Previously: United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – Docket No: 20-35827

Filed: February 8, 2019

Status: Active

I-1639 partially took effect on January 1, 2019, with the remainder due to be effective on July 1, 2019. I-1639 drastically rewrote the laws governing the purchase, sale, and ownership of firearms in the State of Washington, namely, a Young Adult (18-20-years-old) may not purchase a “semiautomatic assault rifle”. A “semiautomatic assault rifle” is defined to mean – in layman’s terms – any rifle which can fire one round with each pull of the trigger and require no additional input from the individual shooting the rifle. This would include rifles such as the Ruger 10/22 (a popular .22 caliber repeating arm).

As a result of this new law, an entire class of individuals are prohibited from being able to exercise their constitutional rights. The Second Amendment’s plain text, as informed by this nation’s history and tradition, reveals that prohibiting the purchase of these arms 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 February 8, 2019, the Second Amendment Foundation filed suit, along with another civil rights organization, four Young Adults, and two individuals who operate firearms dealers. The lawsuit asks a federal court to declare that the law violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and enjoin the Defendants from enforcing the ban on Young Adults from being able to purchase “semiautomatic assault rifles”.

Case Team: Joel Ard, David DeWolf, Matthew Albrecht

Case Documents


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