Politics

Federal Judge: Illegal Immigrants Can Carry Guns

In a ruling that had both proponents and opponents of the Second Amendment do a curious double take, a federal judge has ruled that an illegal immigrant was wrongly banned from possessing firearms. 

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled on March 8 that the defendant, Heriberto Carbajal-Flores, who is residing in the United States illegally, had his Second Amendment right’s violated when prosecutors originally charged him with 18 U.S.C § 922, which bars illegal immigrants from carrying guns or ammunition.

“The noncitizen possession statute, 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5), violates the Second Amendment as applied to Carbajal-Flores,” Judge Coleman wrote in her ruling. “Thus, the court grants Carbajal-Flores’ motion to dismiss.”

The defense team for Mr. Carbajal-Flores had argued in their recent motion that the government could not show the law referenced was “part of the historical tradition that delimits the outer bounds of the right to keep and bear arms.”

In 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that the government must show that each regulation  “is consistent with this nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”

The precise wording of the high court’s decision was enough for the defense to argue successfully in favor of dismissal. “Lifetime disarmament of an individual based on alienage or nationality alone does not have roots in the history and tradition of the United States,” Mr. Carbajal-Flores’ lawyers said.

“The government argues that Carbajal-Flores is a noncitizen who is unlawfully present in this country. The court notes, however, that Carbajal-Flores has never been convicted of a felony, a violent crime, or a crime involving the use of a weapon. Even in the present case, Carbajal-Flores contends that he received and used the handgun solely for self-protection and protection of property during a time of documented civil unrest in the Spring of 2020,”  Judge Coleman wrote.

The ruling has promoted a large range of reactions across the legal and Second Amendment community. Writing on The Reload, attorney Matthew Larosiere agreed with the decision saying that even those in the country illegally are part of “the people” the Framer’s mention in the Second Amendment. “To find that illegal immigrants are outside of ‘the people’ protected by the Second Amendment, you must believe that the Framers were talking about a different ‘people’ in the First, Fourth, Ninth, and Tenth Amendments,” he wrote.

James Morley III

James Morley III is a writer with more than two decades of experience in entertainment, travel, technology, and science and nature. 


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