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By James England (via concealednation.org)

State laws lock horns with federal law when a legal immigrant was denied her right to obtain a concealed carry permit in the State of Montana. She is filing suit — with the help of the Second Amendment Foundation — against the sheriff alleging that this denial of a permit constitutes an infringement upon her constitutional rights. The sheriff of Flathead County denied her based upon current state law in Montana which prohibits the issuance of a concealed carry permit to non-citizen status. However, this immigrant in particular . . .

has resided within that county for ten years, according to KPAX 8. Her attorney alleges that other states have agreed to bypass such state-level mandates for legal immigrants.

“There’ve been at least three jurisdictions that have agreed with the argument: Arkansas, New Mexico, Nebraska to name three, and others.  And so consequently we’re bringing this case on behalf of Montana citizens,” said her attorney Quentin Rhoades to MTN news.

So fundamentally, should someone who is legally allowed to be in this country be allowed the right to protect herself and her property through the use of a concealed carry permit?

That’s ultimately the question we’re posing to you, the reader: Should the right to carry concealed be something limited to just natural born and naturalized citizens of the United States or be extended to guests who are legally here and potentially in the process of pursuing naturalization through a green card or similar?

If this woman were across the border in Idaho, she would have the legal right to carry concealed or openly simply by being a resident of that state. Yet cross the border into Montana and suddenly it’s impossible.

States have the right to dictate the terms and boundaries of their laws — and we are a society governed and ruled by law. As such, if a state views legal immigrants as being somehow unqualified to pursue the concealed carry permitting process, that is their government’s jurisdiction.

The best solution, as far as I can see, is for Montana to decide to willingly amend that state law to reflect the status of legally present aliens. For those who are in this country illegally or not permanently residing here, granting rights that would normally be granted any citizen seems to not apply. But, upon being here as a legally recognized guest, it feels like somehow some allowance should be made.

The right to self defense is an inalienable one. A firearm provides an immediate means of protection in the event of an assault. Why shouldn’t a legal guest living in the United States for around a decade be allowed the same privilege afforded to nearly every other citizen?

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128 Responses to DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Should Legal Aliens Be Allowed to Carry?

  1. If they’re legally able to own firearms, what argument can be made to keep them from carrying said firearms? Seems like an open and shut case to me…so it will probably be litigated for the next decade.

  2. NC required citizenship for a carry permit, so I carried on a UT non-Rez permit for 10 years before I became a US citizen, where there is a will there is a way.

    • That might work in North Carolina but it won’t in Nebraska where I live. The law states explicitly that a Nebraska resident must obtain a Nebraska permit. To use a non-resident permit, I would have to move out of Nebraska.

      This creates weird situations. While I was still a resident alien, I could not qualify for a Nebraska permit. (Since changed.) I could have moved across the Missouri River from Omaha to Iowa, where I was eligible, and carried in Nebraska on an Iowa permit. There are several states whose permits Nebraska does not honor. However, residents of those states can carry in Nebraska on Utah non-resident permits.

    • Well the founding fathers did believe that these rights extended to all men, arguments over which race and gender that encompasses aside. With that in mind, the Constitution set limits on what it could or couldn’t do in relation to those rights, and didn’t allude to citizenship except for voting. Basically, the spirit of it was “hey other countries, we can’t control how shitty you treat people in your borders, but that shit won’t fly here.”

    • That at least recently may not have been valid. I looked into that a while back and Utah required you to have a CHP from your own state (doesn’t make sense I know).

      I couldn’t get a CHP in NC because I wasn’t a citizen, so I got a non-res VA permit which was recognised in NC anyway. Then last summer a German woman from Wake County appealed it so now permanent residents can get CHPs. I then got the NC one as that gives me coverage in FL, SC, etc.

      One thing people don’t realise is that you can buy and conceal a handgun on just a tourist VISA now because of Constitutional carry states. US Code says you need to be one of a few categories, e.g. foreign law enforcement on official duties, or a non-resident in possession of a hunting licence from any state. This gets around the need for a permit and if you’re in a state like Idaho, you can tuck that thing away no problems.

      People on vacation carrying guns in the USA? Nobody has covered that article yet!?

    • I’m pretty sure it was meant to, think about things like due process, no different for non citizens, freedom of speech, press, religion, etc. Seems like it should uniformly be the same, and it seems kind of silly question, as well. If the person is good enough to be allowed to stay in the country when throwing him out is really easy, then why draw some manner of silly line where CC is concerned?

      • You’re forgetting that the 2nd Amendment is fundamentally different than the rest of the Bill of Rights in that it doesn’t recognize an individual right that ‘shall not be infringed’ but rather grants the right to the federal government to create the National Guard.

        • There are people who think that. Probably not too many around here though.

        • That’s hilarious!

          Let’s try that again….

          You forget that the First amendment is fundamentally different than the others in that it grants the federal government the right to decide who gets to exercise free speech and who doesn’t…..

        • You forget that the First amendment is fundamentally different than the others in that it grants the federal government the right to decide who gets to exercise free speech and who doesn’t…..
          …and also gives the government the right to choose an appropriate religion for you. We should just convert everybody to Islam and get it over with.

        • 1. The supreme coot decision in Heller decided differently.

          2. Your a troll. Go stir things up. Somewhere else.

          3. If you really believe that, you want everyone unable to defend themselves against criminals who won’t follow the law or care about the lives of others

        • Might want to check your sarcasm filter, Mike. I think it’s plugged.

      • Bullocks. Do non-citizens who live in China, Cuba, Africa, sandland have US Constitutional Rights? When they get across the US border this changes? When they legally get across the US border (legal by law or Obama)?

        The Dec of Independence applies to all humans, the US Constitution does NOT.

        English Common law and the Judeo Christian values of the US may apply anywhere that Americans chose to say that such applies (as the right to self defense, own property, etc) the local thugs (see Islamland) may disagree. Violently.

        • >> Bullocks. Do non-citizens who live in China, Cuba, Africa, sandland have US Constitutional Rights?

          No.

          >> When they get across the US border this changes?

          Yes. This is called “jurisdiction”. Look it up.

    • Yes.
      There is nothing in the Bill of Rights that limits its protections to those of us lucky enough to be citizens.
      She has the same protection from speech infringement, unwarranted searches, double jeopardy prosecution, torture, etc. that a citizen does. The only rights she doesn’t have that we do are the rights to vote or run for office.

      • 14th amendment expanded the BoR to all “peoples” not specifically new citizens. Originally granting freedoms to slaves but illegal aliens are “peoples.”

    • Hmmmm, does our Constitution apply to non-citizens?
      Actually the Dred Scott decision for gun control and slavery revolved around this issue.
      SCOTUS at that point in time decided it did not.

    • Hell, the First Amendment doesn’t even seem to apply to full citizens anymore on some state-run college campuses. Not if they say the wrong thing in someone’s ‘safe space’, anyway,

  3. Constitutional rights do not all apply to aliens, and gun ownership/carry should not be caregorically extended to them. Aliens cannot be allowed to ever amass arms against Americans, law enforcement, or the state. Aliens, unlike Americans, should be allowed to apply for licenses for ownership/carry based on need, but under strict oversight.

    • “Amass arms”? WTF does that mean? If you think such a law would stop an invading army from bringing their guns ashore, you’re dreaming. Meanwhile, why should a legal alien not be able to defend himself, or even go for some 3-gun on a weekend. And thank you, we do not have, or want, any agency of government set up specifically to “supervise” or “control” firearms ownership. Let’s not start funding such a violation of our whole culture until there is a problem detected, not simply imagined.

    • The Bill of Rights is meant to recognize the ‘natural’ rights of human beings. It was never meant to ‘grant’ rights to certain people. So yes, anyone who is not otherwise prohibited should be allowed to carry. Without any special permission from the government.

      • “…not otherwise prohibited should be allowed to carry. Without any special permission from the government.”

        Joel – who, besides the same government that is enjoined by the “…shall not be infringed.” statement, decides who should be prohibited? Any agreement on prohibited persons presumes that all other persons have “permission” from the government. That was NOT the intent of the Second Amendment.

    • Where do you see that in the Constitution?
      Does the first amendment say “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances by citizens“? No, it doesn’t. It applies equally to all people within the borders of these United States.

    • “Cannot be allowed to ever amass arms against… the state”. Yeah, you’re the worst kind of liberal statist. GTFO; your kind isn’t welcome here.

    • Martin,
      By your comment and as latino I assume you still have that south of the border mentality where Government “grants” rights, and nepotism and corruption are the order of the day, where permissions to do something are granted based on “need” or political connections (well, the same thing could be said about NYC). Here, in America, we have the Bill of Rights and not the Bill of Needs, big difference.

      As a sovereign individual, I do not need the right to exercise my RKBA or have two different sets of rules for law abiding citizens that have been legally allowed to reside in this country. I do not trust bureaucrats to make a decision that can be objective.

      The constitution and the BOR is very clear in its intentions. The people are who it says they are.

    • I agree.
      We need to make a distinction between immigrants, visitors, and criminal invaders. The progressive left wants to pretend the invaders are immigrants and the politicians and media are letting them define the language.

      • Legal immigrants and visitors have the same natural right to self-defense as anyone else. Illegal immigrants who are criminals (other than breaking the immigration laws) will carry weapons whether they are prohibited or not, they are CRIMINALS.

        As for illegal immigrants who are not otherwise engaged in criminal activities, why should they be any less able to defend themselves and their families from criminals than anyone else? The Second Amendment is first and foremost intended to protect the people from the criminal, unconstitutional, actions of the State, not protect the State from the people. All other non-criminal use of firearms is outside their purview, no matter who engages in it or whether or not they are a citizen.

        And further, how much would gang related criminal activity be reduced if the non-legal immigrants trapped in those communities had the ability to arm and defend themselves against those gangs?

  4. Legitimate question: does the constitution extend to those who are non citizens? Asking because I would assume not. Granted it is the law of the land, but it enumerates rights for citizens of the land, no?

    • I do not recall wording to the effect that it only applies to citizens. Come on lawyers, wise us up. Dirk Diggler, where are you?

    • Read it for yourself and decide. The framers wrote it with the intention that the average citizen would be able to read and understand it. I don’t see anything in the Bill of Rights that limits those protections to citizens, or even legal aliens. So an illegal alien still has basic human rights that our government must respect as it rounds them up and deports them.

    • I just re-read the original bill of rights and most of the amendments. The right to vote and run for office are limited to citizens of these United States. All other protections are extended to ‘the people’.

      Historically, not all of the human race has been considered ‘people’ in this nation. Black slaves and women were considered by many to be a lower class of human and therefore not protected for a long time. Native Americans, Japanese Americans, ‘Chinamen’, and a host of others have been denied the rights spelled out in the Bill of Rights.

      That doesn’t mean it’s ok. It wasn’t. But it is our history. Learn from history, or be doomed to repeat it.

  5. “Should Legal Aliens Be Allowed to Carry?” Yes and illegal one as well… once they return back to their home country.

  6. “Should Legal Aliens Be Allowed to Carry?” Yes and illegal ones as well… once they are deported back to their country of origin.

    • Well said William.

      The only people who should should not be granted the right to carry arms are those who have already proven they cannot be trusted with them.

      • “The only people who should should not be granted the right to carry arms…”
        If it’s a right, it cannot be granted or retracted.
        How about “The only people who may be restricted in the exercise of their right to keep and bear arms…”

      • So they keep their guns until found guilty in a court of law, then deported?

        Just making sure we are all on the same page with respect to the 5th ammendment as well as the 2nd…

  7. This is something I’ve been trying to work around for my wife here in OK where you must be a US citizen. I’m think a VA non res permit is the best way to go.

    On a side note, I have tried contacting the SAF and other on this exact issue with OK and never received any response.

    • Be very careful, as out-of-state permits are often not recognized for non-citizens. Ideally, consult with a lawyer with experience in gun law in your state.

  8. In a word, “No.” We quickly approaching the day in this county when there will be no distinction between citizens and non-citizens. We’ve already reached the point where there is virtually no distinction between legal and illegal aliens. Illegals are already entitled to have their kids schooled at the taxpayer’s expense and in many states they can lap up a full assortment of welfare benefits.

    I just don’t want to hasten the day when citizenship means absolutely nothing.

    • The U.S. has always been a mix of new immigrants, older immigrants, children of immigrants and some natives. That distinction has always been blurry.

    • >> We quickly approaching the day in this county when there will be no distinction between citizens and non-citizens.

      This has been true since the first days of US. The only special rights that citizens had then, as they have now, is the right to participate in the political process – to vote and get elected. This is exactly how it should be in a country that is built on the notion of natural individual rights – those rights are protected for all, while political rights (which are not natural) are reserved for the citizenry.

        • Indeed. Although, given jury nullification, it is sort of a part of the political process, as well.

          Non-permanent-residents also cannot contribute directly to political campaigns under existing laws (http://www.fec.gov/pages/brochures/foreign.shtml). That is, before I got my green card, I was able contribute to non-profits, even non-profits with political goals like SAF or ACLU; but I couldn’t contribute directly to any candidate, or to an organization that is using that money to influence candidates directly, such as NRA-PVF. That is also as it should be (and I would argue that it should even be tightened further – only citizens should be able to make political contributions, in election context or otherwise).

  9. What’s all this I hear about concealed carry for aliens?

    It’s bad enough that they come here from their dying worlds with their mind control and their anal probes. Now they want to carry concealed? I say no.

    • I never understood how aliens could travel millions of lightyears, with technology beyond belief, but haven’t figured out you can get to people’s brains without using the anal probe.

      • but haven’t figured out you can get to people’s brains without using the anal probe.
        Uhhh…that is not a mechanical anal probe and they are trying to get ecstasy for their alien minds, if you know what I mean.

  10. Legal aliens, sure. I’m not sure filing suit against the Sheriff, rather than the county or state, was the best thing to do. He was doing his job and following the law. That said, I picture CCLs for legal aliens as being something for the temporary resident, such as students from overseas or someone who will be here for a limited time. If you’ve been here 10 years, just become a citizen. Even if it’s a dual citizenship.

    • “Just become a citizen”…

      If only it were that simple. Becoming a citizen in the US is EXTREMELY difficult in most cases. Short of winning the DV lottery (people in countries with low immigration numbers can enter to win a green card for the all important “diversity” of the US) or marrying a citizen, you will need to have a Bachelors at minimum (preferably Masters so your wait time for residency is cut by 4 years or so) and need to be hired by a company who has advertised the job position for 6 months in a number of ways (newspapers, craigslist, job sites, etc) AND they must prove that you were the only applicant who was minimally qualified.

      This is an important point – if any US citizen applies for that job, no matter how bad their grades were, no matter how little experience they had, no matter whether their references say they were terrible, no matter what kind of dark past they had; the company MUST hire them instead of a foreigner seeking a green card (even if said foreigner has years of experience, amazing grades and is an all-round great person).
      Someone could very easily be here 10 years on a non-permanent visa and be unable to find the illusive job with no qualified applicants.

      The few people I know who have become naturalized citizens universally have no love for America. They either got really lucky winning a stupid lottery or they married into citizenship and spend their lives trying to get their spouse to move back to their awful home country with them. Or they’re rich/famous and got citizenship because of that, yet openly talk of their hatred for the US, having only got citizenship for tax purposes (eg Emily Blunt).

      Meanwhile, I and many others with advanced degrees are still struggling to even get onto a permanent visa (i.e. green card) – people who love America, who love the Constitution and would defend this country with our lives (no, we can’t join the US military either – that program ended early 2000s).

      For real immigration reform, I’d like to see the lottery ended (freeing up immigration slots for people who work hard and are intelligent) AND implement a simple interview that tests the loyalty and love of America that potential immigrants have. Some people would lie, but a large number of the naturalized citizens I know just can’t bring themselves to say a nice thing about the US. Ask them if they think people should have the right to bear arms and they will never say “yes” under any circumstance.
      Right now, immigrants are seen as largely left wing. That’s because of your immigration system. People get in largely through luck or illegally, with very few getting in through hard work. The solution isn’t stopping immigration, it’s properly vetting immigrants.

      As an aside, the number of Americans who’ve told me they’d love to trade citizenship with me is astounding. I wish I could, so they could enjoy no freedom and vote left wing in my country (like everyone else) and I could finally really enjoy the freedom of the US.

      • Your write-up is accurate, but irrelevant. If someone has already been living in US for 10 years – which is the scenario that the comment to which you responded describes – then they almost certainly already have a green card. Going from green card to citizenship is much, much easier then getting that green card in the first place.

        • That’s not true at all. H1B visas may only be renewable twice, but there are several special visas (such as for Canadians and Australians) which would allow them to stay indefinitely (the visas are indefinitely renewable), but never become permanent residents nor citizens.

        • I said “almost certainly”. Sure, there are exceptions, but what I said is true for vast majority of non-citizens residing in US.

          Also, those special visas may not have hard limits the way H1B does, but there’s no guarantee that you will get a renewal. I actually had a lawyer explain this to me specifically with regard to Canada – and he said that, yeah, it lets you work, and yeah, you can renew… but at some point the fact that you spend all your time in US and have a job there will be sufficient grounds for denial. US really wants you to get a green card if you want to reside here permanently.

  11. As an immigrant (Resident Alien) from Mexico (always legal in the US) and two time war veteran (Panama and Gulf War I) I always exercised all my constitutional G*d-given rights (the exception’s were outlined in the consitution, such as Vote or hold public office). I had a permit to carry from various states as far back as 1990 and never had any State or government agency question or restrict my RKBA.

    There is legal precedent and case that the Founding Fathers meant to acknowledge the individual rights in the BOR for all legal individuals in this country (I could make the case for extraterritorial but I’ll leave that for another day) and if that there were any restrictions they would need to be codified in it or through legislation. Any time I purchased a firearm (including my first Title II) I had to bring the pertinent information to the FFL to validate my legal status in the US in addition to other documents to enter in the old and yellow Form 4473.

    Getting the gun bug soon after the military and still as a legal resident I opened my Federal Firearms License in 2001 and had my SOT short aftter. Not once the State, DHS, ATF or other agency blinked or questioned my eligibility to be one.

    Fast forward to today, 2016, I have been a naturalized citizen since 2003 (don’t ask me why it took 11 years since my service to become one, ask the predecessor of DHS, the INS that took their sweet time to process my application and had to get my congresswoman to lean on them to do their work instead of granting citizenship to felons, but I digress), as a Dealer I must request that clients still provide 6 months worth of documentation in addition to their Alien Registration Card and SSN card which in their case is not optional to provide in the 4473.

    To summarize my long ramble above: If you are here legally (Resident Alien and other types such as the V1 etc) there should be no restriction on your RKBA. If you are here illegally, the same treatment that a felon or other restricted individual codified in Title 18USC 922 should apply to them.

  12. This issue was settled in 1971. In Graham v. Richardson, the Supreme Court decided that for purposes of state law, legal aliens are a suspect class and state actions against them are subject to strict scrutiny. The right to control immigration is reserved in the Constitution to the Federal government, not the states.

    So, yes, legal resident aliens (as opposed to legal aliens here on, say, tourist visas) are entitled to Second Amendment rights. Just as they are entitled to freedom of speech, assembly and religion, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, freedom against self-incrimination, due process and the rest of the Bill of Rights.

      • “Suspect class” as in laws that discriminate against that class are suspicious, and require passing strict scrutiny (the highest standard) to justify not being considered unconstitutional per Equal Protection Clause. Under that standard, the state that wants to pass such a law has to show a “compelling governmental interest”, must be “narrowly tailored” to that interest, and must be using the “least restrictive means” available. The burden of proof of all three is on the state.

        • Even if you have held the green card for long enough to be eligible, it can be pretty damn expensive. Right now, you need to cough up $680 to apply for various government processing fees involved. And it is not refunded if the application is denied (and possessing a green card does not guarantee acceptance).

  13. If we cannot trust them to own and carry a weapon, then why are they here?

    We, obviously, don’t trust them.

  14. From a constitutional perspective, I believe that the people applies to We The People of the United States, i.e. citizens. So, I think the constitutional protection against government infringement of the right to keep and bear arms is intended to apply to citizens. Also, it is citizens who would take up arms in civil defense against enemies foreign or domestic.

    That said, from a natural, civil rights perspective, I believe that anyone lawfully in the country should not be prohibited from exercising the natural right of self-defense, using the most effective tool available, i.e. firearms.

    • If “people” in the Constitution really means “citizens”, then why does it actually use the word “citizen” elsewhere in the text?

  15. Bill of Rights does not grant rights, it lists (“enumerates”) them. Said rights are inalienable and natural to humans, and any restriction of them is a violation of basic, inherent human rights.

    Something I wish we’d remember when considering relations with our neighbors “across the pond,” as they say.

    • Dont stand up for greencard holders? Wait until they come for us with some other excuse to categorize us

    • Well, I guess rights like due process and free speech should also be limited… while we are at it… let’s just slave them, right?

      Very obtuse way to look at the world and our country. I assume by your observations that you slept through your civics and government class, and your attitude and behaviour are part of the reason why immigrants are so prevalent and now on top company positions and driving industry decisions instead of americans (Satya Natella anyone?)

      We cannot have 2 types of rights depending on your country of origin or have Animal Farm style laws . . .

      Let me help you get some education on Constitutional Law and Natural Rights:

      http://scholarship.law.georgetown.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1302&context=facpub

      Graham v. Richardson (SCOTUS 1971)

    • Check my prior post, as a Green Card holder I joined the US Army and was honored to be able to fight for this country twice. The Army saw me fit to carry my M16A1/2 and trusted me to be part of the service branch where I was all that I could be. I have always obeyed the laws and have been an asset to my community and this great country.

      As upstanding as I have been, the situation of becoming a citizen was challenging for me due to bureaucrats with attitudes while instead courting felon immigrants for votes (Clinton) eventhough as a veteran I had entitlements to be fast-tracked. It took literally 11 years, a congresswoman and the threat of a lawsuit both to the examiner and INS branch before they got things on track. You put too much trust in our Federal Government in vetting and doing the right thing… usually is the contrary (can we say San Bernardino shootings anyone?).

      I don’t think that my case is unique and I could place a bet it happens more often than it should, now, if we were to restrict another individual right (which by the way is not restricted in the Constitution as the right to vote and hold office are) law abiding people would be denied their RKBA by proxy or holding on their citizenship.

      We as a nation don’t restrict the right of free assemble or speech to non-citizens as ugly and nasty as they may be (remember it protects things that are not the norm or that cause discomfort and anger such as burning a flag), let us continue on the path of enabling natural rights, not limiting them.

    • Does a resident alien have to pay taxes? Yes, they do.

      In fact, we even pay taxes for stuff like Social Security and Medicare, for which we aren’t eligible in many cases.

      Perhaps we shouldn’t be?

      • Not eligible for Social Security or Medicare? I didn’t try to hide my status as a resident alien when I applied for both. All Social Security wanted to know was whether I had paid into the system for at least the minimum required number of years.

        • If you have a green card, you’re eligible for most of it. But if you only have a work visa or a student visa, nope. If I remember correctly, you’re eligible for social security even as H1B, after you leave US, but only if your country has signed an agreement with US about it, and many don’t have it.

          Well, at least the stuff that you pay while H1B or L1 does accrue, so if you change status to green card later, it counts. But if you never do (e.g. if you lose your job and get kicked out of the country), tough luck.

  16. Depends

    Legal refugees? Well, i dont want them to, since they are useless until a very long time after they get in this country. I dunno granting them gun rights would or would not be beneficial for the international image of the US.

    Other legal aliens like immigrants who come in because of their economical benefit, or tourists who give us cash? Hell yeah, we need them.

    Btw, guess where do these aliens converge? CA and NY. Last time i thought you guys wanted those two places back, and now your denying them guns? Come on…

  17. It’s not like a person on a student visa or work permit can come to the U.S. and just buy a gun.

    You have to be a permanent resident i.e. Green card.
    https://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/nics/federal-firearms-licensees/ffl-tip-sheet-for-non-u.s.-citizens-purchasing-firearms-1#disablemobile

    Those are people that call America their home and is usually the first step towards citizenship for a majority of people. As far as basic rights, the only thing a permanent resident can’t do that a US citizen can is vote.

    In Texas, it is permitted for a permanent resident to have a CHL. I know because I was one, and am now a proud US citizen/Texan exercising my 2A rights.

    I was happy to be able to participate in the process before my journey to citizenship finalized.

    With the exception of a very small portion of the population, all of us had to immigrants. It is part of the makeup and strength of this country.

    • Non-immigrant aliens can legally purchase firearms, in California you just need to have a valid hunting license along with the rest of the correct paperwork (I-94, VISA/EAD, drivers license, proof of residence in the state etc). Now that the 90 day residence requirement is not required, you can basically come to the US and buy a gun, once you have established a home (getting the drivers license in CA is the slowest part of the whole process).

      On the face of it, this seems odd – a new alien will not have any disqualifying behavior captured in NICS. That said, they do undergo extremely strict vetting in order to be approved a work VISA and if there was anything dodgy in their background the VISA would not be granted, which makes the VISA itself a defacto background check (to a much higher level than the subsequent NICS check).

      Since most immigrants come from countries where there is no 2nd amendment, I think it’s a part of the American experience to be able to take advantage and experience it, even for a limited time as a guest. Experiencing rights denied at home is a strong driver for wanting to pursue citizenship. In the meantime aliens can’t vote, but we can support gun rights organizations with our money and be another voice of the truth in the community. As odd as it sounds, I’ve even taken US citizens to the range for the first time!

      • Valid hunting license (actually “legitimate purpose” – there are other ways to show it, but hunting license is the easiest) and minimum 90 days residence is not a California thing, it’s federal law.

        One nifty hack to be aware of is that the federal law doesn’t require you to have a hunting license from the state where you actually reside. So if you don’t actually intend to hunt (which is legal – the law only requires you to have a license, not to use it), and your state has a convoluted and/or expensive process to obtain it, then you can go shopping elsewhere. In particular, Alaska lets you buy hunting licenses online, with no exams etc, and ships them in the mail, for just $30.

        Of course, state law can, and often does, have its own restrictions. For example, here in WA, as an alien, I also need to show a “legitimate purpose”, and this can either be a hunting license issued by WA, or membership in a sporting organization. So for the feds, I show them my AK hunting license; but for the state, I show them my IDPA member card.

  18. Deporting them will solve the problem. We should not have anyone here as a legal or illegal alien, period.

  19. So fundamentally, should someone who is legally allowed to be in this country be allowed the right to protect herself and her property through the use of a concealed carry permit?
    Legal aliens are okay by me.
    Illegal aliens, not so much.

    • Illegal aliens should have that right, too, but it’s important to understand what it actually means. It means that, ideally it should not be illegal for an undocumented alien to possess or carry a firearm in and of itself. Of course, by virtue of being undocumented, they’re already in violation of the law, and that should be prosecuted – and ultimately they should be deported. But having a firearm should not be a separate charge for them; only the violation of visa/permit requirements. That would be the logical application of RKBA as a natural right (which, by definition, everyone has by virtue of being a person).

  20. The Constitution of the United States, only applies to citizens of this country. Everyone thinks that the amendments apply to anyone in the country, legally, illegally, citizen, non-citizen, but that’s not true. It only applies to citizens, who have never been convicted of a felony. That being said: Since the constitution does not address the rights of non-citizens, it really becomes a state matter. She can sue the state, but as a non-citizen, whether here legally or illegally, she technically doesn’t have a right to do so, and she doesn’t have a right to own a firearm. Additionally, while it could be argued that the constitution recognizes the rights of all humans to protect themselves, to pursue happiness, and to live their lives, the primary nature of the constitution was to recognize the rights of citizens of this country. As a non-citizen, she can’t vote, she can’t run for office, she can’t be appointed to an office (including in most states), she has to renew her visa every few years, she has to hold a job in this country or her visa could be revoked, and she has to pay income tax here, but also to the country she’s a citizen of (most likely – depends on where she’s actually a citizen and that country’s tax law) – very few countries allow you to not pay income taxes in that country if you’re residing abroad – just to name a few benefits of being a citizen. If she wants all of the rights of a citizen, why hasn’t she applied for citizenship? If she want’s to own a gun so badly, she should apply, and get citizenship. End of story.

    • Blackwolf,

      What prestigious Juris Doctor University Degree sits is displayed in your law firm’s office or at your home?

      You obviously have read and studied all case law regarding the subject to make such succint and cut and dry statements. Heck, I’m surprised BHO has not called you to fill the vacancy in SCOTUS.

      It is individuals like you that complain about the government encroaching on your rights but pay no attention when there is a different demographic or people under the boot from the goverment. Heck, you might as well have posted that it should be “whites-only” right.

      We cannot have it both ways when it comes to Natural Rights and the rights enumarated in the Consitution and BOR and I sir do not compromise on them whether is the hill billie or the black person or the hispanic maid that needs protection getting back from her late shift to tend for her family. All lives matter.

      I stand in my opinion that your comment was bigoted and with a foul smell of statism.

    • You have a very confused and largely incorrect understanding of the spectrum before full citizenship. Permanent residents (aka green card holders) do not require a visa to enter a country, and do not need to re-apply for it every few years to remain legal. The card expires every 10 years, but the status itself never expires, so long as one remains a resident. It is also not a requirement for green card holders to hold any specific job (or, indeed, any job at all) etc. Basically, most of those restrictions that you have listed only apply to non-immigrant aliens, such as those on a visitor/business visa, student visa, or work visa. Green card is one big step ahead of that and closer to citizenship – by design.

      You’re also wrong about taxes. Vast majority of countries out there only require you to file taxes for your foreign income if you have been a tax resident in that country for part of that year. If you don’t live there and don’t earn money there, you don’t have to file taxes, even if you’re a citizen. US is one of the very few exceptions that requires its citizens to file taxes in US for all their foreign income, even if they haven’t actually been residing in US for many years (which is why so many people renounce US citizenship when they retire to another country; and why the government has been making renunciation harder, and adding more fees to it – it costs $2,350 right now! – because they don’t want people to do it and stop paying taxes).

      “Why don’t you just apply?” is also an argument that can be seen in a completely different light when you look up the requirements and the fees and realize that for a green card holder just to apply for citizenship costs $680 (with no guarantee of success, and no refund if you are rejected!).

  21. Should she be “allowed”? No. She has the right. Govt has just decided to infringe upon it, like they always do.

  22. My brother-in-law is a Belgian citizen. He’s lived here for over 50 years. He’s married to a U.S. citizen and is a successful business owner. Washington State had no problem issuing him a CPL. Legal aliens should have the right to bear arms anywhere citizens can.

  23. Not all legal aliens are have Second Amendment rights. International travelers on visitor visa, temporary guest workers, and other temporary yet lawfully present aliens cannot purchase or carry firearms except under certain limited circumstances (licensed hunting, organized competition). Lawful Permanent Residents -those lawful immigrants that live permanently in the US with “green cards” and are on the legal path to citizenship- are entitled to the same rights as citizens with few exceptions (voting in federal elections, holding certain public offices.) SAF has successfully challenged other “citizens-only” restrictions on CHPs …and won all.

  24. Seeing as they are not citizens no. The constitution and it’s amendments gover America and it’s citizens. No one else

    • Your constitutional knowledge is terrible. The Constitution makes specific mention of citizenship only where it intends to: when it talks about the rights to vote or run for office. Those are limited to citizens.

    • It’s not the first such case, and so far all the cases that I’m aware of have ended with courts confirming that RKBA applies to non-citizens, as its plain reading indicates. If you go here, you’ll see that a lot of cases that SAF has litigated before, or currently litigates, are in the same broad category:

      https://www.saf.org/tag/right-to-carry/

  25. Federal law has a list of conditions which prohibit possession of firearms. The only ones that involve citizenship are illegal aliens and former citizens who have renounced their citizenship. Some states and cities place additional on non-citizens but they have fallen wherever challenged. There are a few states that will grant concealed carry permits to visitors.

    The Constitution applies to all people within the jurisdiction of the United States. It could not be otherwise. If it did not, non-citizens would be outside the law. Laws against murder would not apply to them whether they were the murderer or the victim. There is controversy over whether Ted Cruz’s birth in Canada to a US citizen disqualifies him from the Presidency. If the Constitution did not apply to non-citizens, it could not prevent a non-citizen (such as an illegal alien) from becoming President.

  26. Resident legal aliens (green card holders) are considered “US Persons” with respect to federal law.

    For example, under ITAR handing a night vision goggle to a resident alien is not an export, but handing one to someone under a tourist visa is.

    The courts have continuously interpreted the words people and persons to apply to all US persons, regardless of citizenship status. The only right limited to citizens is the right to vote.

    This is a clear violation of the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause.

  27. The original text of the Constitution + Bill of Rights speaks specifically of the rights of citizens in only a few places:

    “No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.”

    “No Person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.”

    “No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.”

    “The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.”

    Everywhere else it uses the terms “person”, “persons” or “people”. A straightforward reading of these is fairly clear: citizens are only privileged with respect to political rights, such as qualifications for office. All other rights apply to everyone. This makes sense from the natural rights perspective, too – if a right is truly natural, it stands to reason that one’s citizenship status has no relevance on applicability. Thus, insofar as US Constitution is clearly written from a natural rights perspective, the protections it grants to those natural rights apply to everyone in American jurisdiction.

    (This, by the way, means that illegal immigrants also have RKBA on US soil, in and of itself. What they don’t have is the right to remain in US. And so in practice RKBA is moot for them – it doesn’t apply to them when they’re in custody, and it doesn’t apply to them once they’re deported.)

    If you look at the history of judicial interpretation of the Constitution and how it applies to non-citizens, it is also consistent with this. Time and again, courts have ruled that non-citizens have the same rights as citizens when it comes to freedom of speech, warrantless search etc.

    And, yes, RKBA. Here’s one relatively recent case where a federal judge has thrown out New Mexico law barring non-citizens from carrying firearms, as being counter to the Second Amendment:

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/31/new-mexicos-immigrant-ruling-to-bolster-gun-rights/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/volokh-conspiracy/wp/2015/04/25/state-restrictions-on-concealed-carry-by-noncitizens-are-unconstitutional/

    In Washington State, there was a similar story, except it was concerning the right to own guns rather than carry – the state here issues special Alien Firearm Licenses to non-citizens, and for a while they were may-issue with no-issue in practice. A green card holder sued back in 2008, and obtained declaratory judgment (I think that’s what it’s called?) from a state judge that explained in no uncertain terms how no-issue infringes on the state constitution (which has a clearly spelled out individual right to RKBA). It didn’t even come to court – the state has acknowledged the judgment and complied by making AFL shall-issue.

    There are several other states in which lawsuits are ongoing, but based on all the precedents so far, the result seems predetermined.

    Oh, and one interesting aspect of these cases is that many of them see SAF/NRA and ACLU working side by side. While ACLU doesn’t recognize 2A itself as a civil right for the purposes of their definition (which is their right – they are an organization dedicated to civil rights as they understand them, not just any constitutional right), they do recognize the right to equal treatment by law; and so when law discriminates, even if said discrimination is about RKBA, they do consider it within their purview. Which results in cases like these:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/01/06/new-aclu-lawsuit-expand-south-dakota-gun-rights.html

  28. Strategically speaking, I don’t see how someone who is strongly pro-gun, and especially someone who is single-issue on guns, would be against gun rights for legal immigrants. Acknowledgement of such right reinforces the key points that 1) RKBA is an individual right, and 2) it is a natural right.

    If gun rights can be taken away on the basis of citizenship, which is an arbitrary designation by the state (and which is emphatically not natural – there’s no such thing as “natural citizenship” in the absence of a sovereign state that can grant citizenship, and a law in that state defining and codifying citizenship), then they can be taken away on the basis of other similarly arbitrary designations by the government. Like, say, “terrorist”, or “subversive”, or “enemy of the people”.

  29. I don’t want non citizens to have firearms, especially not caring them.

    Now if she was here 10 years why isn’t she a citizen?

    • Because she’s not eligible?

      Because the fees are prohibitively expensive?

      Either way, it’s not about what you “want”. There are millions of people in the country who don’t want YOU having a gun; should we respect their whimsy, too? There are way more of them…

  30. The Constitution starts with the words; “We the people of The United States”
    Just playing devils advocate, but the above sounds like it could be used as an absolute limit.

    • An absolute limit on the definition of “the people”? So only those alive and resident at the time Constitution was ratified are included? 😉

  31. If you’re here legally, you ought to have all of the same rights as citizens (including armed self-defense, but excepting the right to vote, of course). To be here legally you need to show that you can do something good for the country, and not just mow lawns and sell drugs. If you’re here illegally, you ought to be kicked the f— out and barred from ever entering the US again, with corporal punishment and another deportment awaiting you if you should try again. I don’t care about sob stories about poor “refugees.” If I were to try to sneak into Mexico or just about any other country, I’d get shot for doing so. We ought to do the same.

  32. Humans. Yes.

    Rights are not “granted”. So one’s status should not bar them from exercising those rights.

    Hell, they can carry a gun in our military as it is.

  33. What type of legal alien are you? There is a difference. If you’re here on some sort of visa, it denotes that your stay is to one degree or another temporary, so I don’t mind a few extra restrictions.

    But if you’re a resident alien (i.e. have a green card), then yes, you should have the right to own a firearm just like you have the right to due process, freedom of speech and religion, and all the other rights in the Constitution.

    • A temporary stay can be as long as 6 months for someone on a visitor or business visa, and several years for a student or a worker. It is easily long enough for IRS to consider you a resident for tax purposes, in fact (even as CBP continues to consider you non-resident – it’s a confusing mess).

      Furthermore, for many students and workers, the stay is “temporary” in name only, in a sense that it is conditional on studying/working and limited in duration upon completion of said study/work – but in practice they intend to, and do, apply for a green card as soon as they’re eligible, and effectively reside in the country all the way through.

      Pragmatically speaking, what difference does it make? People getting a visa, especially something beyond simple visitor status, still undergo more background checks than someone already inside the country buying a gun.

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