Federal Appeals Court Rules Undocumented Immigrants Do Not Have Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms

Posted on 9 January, 2019 at 10:30

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that "a law barring immigrants who are in the country without authorization from owning guns does not violate the 2nd Amendment." The appeal stems from an action brought by a San Jose resident who was convicted of violating the federal law. He appealed arguing that the Second Amendment guarantees the right of the people to bear arms and that the law is unconstitutional because he should be afforded that right even though he is not in the country legally.

The Ninth Circuit disagreed with this argument finding that the government's interest in controlling crime and ensuring public safety are promoted by the law stating that undocumented immigrants “have already shown they are unable or unwilling to conform their conduct to the laws of this country” and “are difficult to monitor due to an inherent incentive to falsify information and evade law enforcement.”

According to the article, the appellant was brought to the U.S. at the age of four when his mother brought him into the country without permission. He was expelled from high school for being a member of a gang after which his parents sent him to Mexico. He then tried to re-enter the country three times illegally and succeeded in 2005. He works for his father's landscaping business and married a U.S. citizen, but never applied for citizenship. In 2014, "police arrested him after discovering he had a stolen bicycle, a loaded revolver, what appeared to be homemade silencers for the gun and bolt cutters." His attorney believes that the decision is unfair stating that “[t]he Constitution applies to undocumented people in all other regards.”

Written by:   Alexandra Siskopoulos, Esq.

Telephone:   (646) 942-1798

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Categories: Appellate Attorney News