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The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) is taking up the case of a legal Australian immigrant in North Carolina. This test case will likely result in the removal of the restriction on the issuance of a concealed carry permit to people who are not U. S. citizens under North Carolina law. SAF won a similar case in New Mexico at the end of March of this year. In the New Mexico case, SAF’s Alan Gottlieb laid out the gun rights org’s strategy . . .

From the Washington Times:

Alan M. Gottlieb, executive vice president of the foundation, said the discrimination ruling makes it increasingly difficult for gun control advocates to chip away at gun rights.

“It helps build case law,” he said. “If legal aliens have rights, citizens obviously do, too.”

In the North Carolina case, the plaintiff, Felicity M. Todd Veasey, asked for a declaratory judgment, injunctions, and attorney’s fees. It seems likely that she will prevail, given the precedent from other cases. Veasey is a member of SAF, and has a permanent visa.


“Plaintiffs seek to establish that the recognition and incorporation of the Second Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause, renders the state’s ban on non-citizens obtaining a concealed carry license unconstitutional,” the complaint states. “As the plaintiffs only seek to be treated the same as law-abiding citizens, the Second and Fourteenth Amendments render a ban such as that challenged in this action impermissible.”

Stay tuned.

©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.

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    • +1

      As a general rule of thumb, if it involves guns and Chuck Schumer is for it, there’s a loophole you’ve missed.

    • One of the reasons why the background check bill that the SAF helped write was not passed may have been because there were too many pro gun poison pills in it for an anti-gunner to sign on to it.

  1. I have no problem with this, legal aliens, green card carrying resident aliens who can pass the rigorous back ground and fingerprinting, testing… they are most likely going to be the more productive citizen in society…

    • As someone who went through the process (and still has to go through obtaining citizenship) getting a license should be simple by comparison.
      I do like that in IN you can be a legal resident and have your right to bear arms.

  2. The ATF already removed its own restriction on gun ownership by legal permanent resident aliens, and there is a ton of Federal case law holding that alienage is a “suspect classification.” This law will be struck down hard.

    • I’m not familiar with the term “suspect classification”. Can you give me a little more information about that, please?

      • Persons who are members of a “suspect classification, are definable as a group that has been the subject of “invidious discrimination,” statutorily defined as discrimination on the basis of sex, age, race, national origin, religion and, more recently, sexual orientation. The basic premise is that all people are created equal and are entitled to equal treatment under the law; and the law provides special protection for those groups historically discriminated against.

      • means strict scrutiny will apply.

        restrictions on some one based upon their ancestry or status as a legal alien have a very high bar for the gov’t to meet to uphold said restriction.

    • >> The ATF already removed its own restriction on gun ownership by legal permanent resident aliens

      When was that restriction in place? Last thing I’ve seen, there were some pretty ridiculous requirements (like having to prove “contiguous residence” every time you buy a gun by providing 90 days’ worth of bank statements or bills), but even that has been gone for 2 years now.

      • I don’t know about other states but here in California a resident alien with a “non-immigrant” visa needs to have a California Hunting licence to purchase firearms. Someone with a “green card” doesn’t require the hunting licence. As a Canadian on a TN visa i fall into the first category and had to get a hunting licence, fine by me since I am a hunter anyway. I looked into getting a ccw permit and it seems my immigration status isn’t a factor, but there were so many other hurdles I just gave up.

        • It’s true in all states – it’s a Federal requirement. The funny thing is that the Feds don’t care which state issued the license – it doesn’t have to be the state that you reside in. That’s why Alaska small game hunting licenses are so popular among non-citizens (it costs $30, has no prerequisites, and you can order it online and they will ship it wherever).

          Some states have additional requirements over and above that. For example, in my state, WA, I need a WA hunting license, or documentation that I am a member of a firearm sporting club or association, in order to apply for an Alien Firearm License (which is good for 2 years once obtained), and that license is required to possess firearms. IDPA membership fulfills that just fine, though. Which is nice, because getting a hunting license here is a PITA (mandatory training & safety courses).

  3. These kind of rulings are actually very important when building general cases about second amendment rights, as stated in the writing. Gun control laws get rewritten most of the times they fail and resubmitted in the hopes that they won’t be struck down again (most recent example I can think of is the AWB, Feinstein brought it back with even bigger restrictions than before). With her newest versions, that shoulder thing that goes up would make any normal rifle an “assault weapon” by itself. Their arguments were that the clauses in the last one that made it remotely justifiable legally (not confiscation, *only* restrictions on future purchases) were the excuse that made the last bill so ineffective at solving anything.
    Tying these laws to immigrants, eventually they will realize they can’t get them passed for average citizens and instead will target the minority groups of society, like immigrants.
    Be careful. These people truly are driven, and they aren’t afraid to make up whatever gets them votes.

    • Sorry for being a “dumb ass”, I have heard reference to this “shoulder thing that goes up” Exactly what is it you are talking about, what does it mean?
      Thank you

        • Haha thanks for posting that.
          Joking aside, these people really don’t care about saving lives. If they did, they would use statistics and logical reasoning to make legislation.
          We don’t ban sports cars or busses just because they can hurt more people if used by a maniac to run someone over. They have their purposes (why do you think police use 30rd magazines) but they don’t make the driver any more insane than someone using a prius. A common argument of the antis is that ‘assault weapons’ are used in school shootings more often. Ban all assault weapons (impossible, but for the theoretical) and suddenly bolt actions will be used in the majority of all school shootings. Ban all of those, then revolvers. Ban all of those, suddenly you don’t have anything left.
          Since 99% of modern firearms are safe when handled properly, there is no possible way to claim that banning specific types of firearms would make anyone safer. If this precedent can be established in the supreme court and applied to federal law, it would stand as a shield to most of the current proposed gun control laws and most of the future laws too.

  4. This is absolutely what the SAF does best.
    Gottlieb might be playing 3D chess to his own detriment on legislation, but in the courtroom, he does just fine.

    • Concur. Effective litigation is what I paid SAF for a lifetime membership, not the stupid Manchin-Toomey fail. or the dim-witted “anniversary of Sandy Hook national gun-rights day” PR fiasco.

      I hope someone on the Board at SAF is paying attention here.

      Let NRA do the politics- thats what they are good at and have the every state lobbyist and membership network to take action upon.

      PR should come from the grass roots, or again- by NRA following the trend at grassroots – listening to their membership and potential new members.

      And I dont know what happened there, but they are doing a great job lately, I believe from listening to sites like TTAG, for example employing women and diversity shooters to tell the story that self-defense rights are universal natural rights for everyone.

      Now they need to get the training programs running better. Can’t get anyone to return a call or email on NRA local trainings, or instructor qual. Probably because I am in CA… priorities.

    • They came legally but are not necessarily citizens, but instead legal permanent residents. One example is a foreigner who marries a US citizen, and is thereby entitled to permanent residence, but is not (or not yet) a citizen. It is a long and arduous process to become a US citizen. You do not have to be a citizen to have an inalienable right to self-defense–nor are you free from the risks of harm everyone else who lives here has. Hence, you should be able to obtain concealed weapons permit to provide for your own defense.

      • For that matter, why only permanent residents? Getting a green card can also be a long and arduous process (especially for those of us going down skilled immigration route – i.e. relying on one’s wits and skills – rather than having a relative handy).

        I’m glad that my state (WA) extends RKBA to anyone who can prove residency in the state, green card or not.

  5. Oh, it’s Alan Gottlieb. I’m sure he’ll find a way to turn this case into a push for a national gun registry.

    • ? I’m confused, are you saying he will use it for gun control or will use it to draw attention/warning to it?

  6. I don’t see the word citizen here. Just “legal”. Keep up the good work SAF. Interesting the plaintiff is female. The real WAR on women…

  7. As a Kiwi living in NC I went with a UT non-rez CHP permit for 10 years before gaining US citizenship last year before being able to apply for a NC CHP. I’m going on record here and making history…….. this Kiwi is really hoping that the Australian wins this, that being said those left-handed wankers still can’t play Rugby to save their lives, there redeemed myself.

    • Ironic that so many (wealthy) US citizens are moving to New Zealand (I use NZ for shorthand, it sort of sounds like we’re the 51st State, which our Prime Minister would love, he spent most of his working life on Wall Street). No, we don’t have concealed carry, but then again we have no need for it. We can shoot game with silencers, something you USA people seem to have trouble with, and our drinking age is 18. This creates a whole other set of problems, of course. And we can brew our own if we choose.

      While I appreciate the US lifestyle, and have many American friends, I think on balance I’ll stay where I am. At least it’s not Australia! We don’t have to put up with American politics (except on TV), and we can talk to our politicians on the street. They’re still the same self entitled arrogant load of ignoramuses that you despise, though. No taking the bullshit out of a politician.

      Our Police are largely unarmed, and criminals have some respect for them. We had a story just today of a policeman running into a burning house and saving an elderly lady. Good for PR at HQ.

      And believe it or not, we have no really dangerous animals (except for farm stock, which are mostly tame). There are no snakes, and only one or two poisonous spiders, whose bite isn’t fatal. Try that in Australia! But there are plenty of species for hunting, all introduced. There is a lot of thick bush cover for critters to hide in. A wee bit of hunting paradise.

  8. You cannot (at least should not have to) be granted the right to self-defense or being armed by the government. The right to self-defense and hence a gun is a natural right. It shouldn’t matter even if the immigrant was illegal.

    • The illegal immigrant may return/be returned to their own country of origin and may fight for their right to bear arms there.

    • An ILLEGAL immigrant does not have the right to BE in the United States. This over-rides his right to keep and bear arms in the US.

      • I have talked to Alan a few times. He is sharp, but he does not want to push too hard, for fear of alienating the middle. I talked to a fellow today who was pretty gun-ho about citizens bearing arms…. but… he really lliked the idea of jumping through many hoops to get the CCW.

        \I hope he comes around.

  9. 1. NC no longer accepts out of state permits for permanent residents of NC.

    2. I hope this goes thru. My wife is a German national. She can buy a gun and OC but not get a CHL? WTF Over?

    • Yeah, that sounds messed up. You should dogpile on the SAF’s lawsuit so that NC recognizes your wife’s right to CC!

    • I am a permanent resident living in NC, and am about to apply for a VA non resident permit. Can you point me to your source that suggests NC no longer accepts non res permits please. Thanks

    • Remember that both NRA and SAF have learned and are trying to quietly remind gun-folk that a “sympathetic” plaintiff, backed by expert legal help and deep pockets, combined with a strategic and patient strategy, will do a LOT more good than someone’s condo law lawyer filing for a nutjob like Embody.

      A fail on a key legal point sets everyone back decades. A win built on other wins, case by case, is what has gotten us here, as in Peruta, in the 9th.

      Now we taxpayers and voters HAVE to do our jobs- elect GOP Senators in the vulnerable states to take back the Senate- or watch Obama appoint more left wing activist justices to SCOTUS.

    • It will probably go through. There is already considerable track record on this – they first pursued such a case in WA, and it didn’t even get to the court there, the state just folded and accepted that they’re in the wrong (ironically, not even according to 2A, but rather to the state constitution equivalent thereof – because that equivalent explicitly stipulates an individual right to keep and bear arms). And this was before McDonald decision, even. Then there was their recent win in New Mexico. The dominoes will just keep falling from here on.

  10. You do your level-best work in the court room, Alan. Please, I implore you to stick to that, as we need you there and not suggesting any more legislation.

  11. I am happy they are doing this, I am a newly naturalized citizen and have not had the right to bear arms outside of my home (Conceal Carry) in Oklahoma which irked me beyond believe, I applied now for my CCW but I shouldn’t have had to wait till I became a citizen!

  12. <Recently legal immigrant here, FBI background checks are not new to me, bought my first pistol and shotgun this past year. I get delayed every single time, but i can live with that!

  13. I’m against it. Gun rights for immigrants, even legal ones, isn’t my concern. It also distracts attention and resources from far more pressing firearms cases.

    It could also be counterproductive. We go around expanding rights for legal aliens and, far from leading to greater rights for citizens (uh…how could it? Citizens already have the rights he’s pushing to expand to aliens.), it could backfire and expand rights to ILLEGAL aliens.

    We already have states giving drivers licenses to illegal aliens. Why not carry licenses? Hell, we have states giving in-state tuition to illegal aliens. Even out of state U.S. citizens can’t get that! They should be arrested and deported when they show up to register for classes, not handed a Groupon for tuition. What’s next? Voting rights for legal aliens, then two seconds later, for illegal aliens? That’s a surefire source of support for liberals and the express lane to confiscation.

    No, anything expanding rights to aliens, even legal ones, is at best a misuse of resources and at worst likely to reverse our rights in the long run. This just reinforces the wisdom of dropping out of SAF last year after their complicity in the Manchin-Toomey attempt. With friends line SAF, who needs Bloomie? This is just SAF trying to burnish his Pearly Gate credentials like Bloomie, or at least to improve his legacy here on Earth. I resent my God-given rights being used as pawns in anyone’s personal PR campaign.

    • Yeah, I canceled my membership with SAF after they were working with the Manchin/Toomey fiasco as well.

    • Jonathan – Houston, those are the counterarguments. There are three arguments for legal resident aliens having firearms that cannot be refuted.

      First, if law abiding non-citizens are entitled to arms, how can law abiding citizens be denied the same right?

      Second, the case law on resident alien rights is much more clear than the case law on 2A. For example, there is a split in the Circuits on “good cause” licensing. There is no such split regarding the rights of legal resident aliens.

      Third, under Graham v. Richardson (a 1971 case), alienage is none of the state’s business, because only Congress has the power to regulate immigration. Any state law on the issue is subject to strict scrutiny, and almost every one will fail.

      This isn’t a groundbreaking case. It’s a slam dunk, and I expect that the state will fold before it’s embarrassed in open court.

      • “First………”,

        Name me ANY firearms-related right that non-citizens have, which citizens don’t already have. Waiting….
        Any effort in this area is movement from citizens’ rights to an expansion toward non-citizens. Regardless whether rights for non-citizens is good or bad, the fact is that that’s the direction of the movement. The idea that expanding rights for non-citizens will somehow lead to expansion of rights for citizens, when the expansion activity is going in the OPPOSITE direction, is ludicrous. All it will do is increase momentum and extend that rights expansion even further to illegal aliens, as we’ve already seen with other citizen rights. The slim glimmer of hope that extending rights to non-citizens, despite the clear and present danger of furnishing them to illegal aliens, as well, will somehow “lock in” those same rights for citizens and make them harder to remove from citizens is laughable. Immigrants, legal or illegal, who are overwhelmingly from poor, corrupt and rights-barren countries, are guaranteed Democrat voters. You can’t “lock in” future rights, let alone expand them, for citizens by any means that entails swelling the ranks of immigrants and illegal aliens. It’s just a matter of time before the next right to be extended is the right to vote. We already see the Democrats attempting that with felons. Next stop, illegal aliens, many of whom are felons, themselves.


        Case law? This issue has ALREADY been decided in the Carpio-Leon case, no? The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded New Mexico’s law banning possession of firearms while in the U.S. illegally was constitutional, and affirmed the district court’s finding of the same.

        The appellate court concluded that the scope of the Second Amendment does not extend to provide protection to illegal aliens, because illegal aliens are not law-abiding members of the political community, and aliens who have entered the U.S. unlawfully have no more rights under the Second Amendment than do aliens outside the U.S. seeking admittance. The Fourth Circuit also reasoned that prohibiting illegal aliens, as a class, from possessing firearms is rationally-related to Congress’ legitimate interest in public safety.

        In upholding the district court’s decision, the appellate court noted that the Fifth, Eighth, and Tenth Circuits had upheld the provision in the face of Second Amendment challenges. The Fourth Circuit found NO court of appeals decision that had found the statute unconstitutional. This is settled law AND settled case law. Why would the SC even accept a case where a district and appellate courts in four different circuits all agree? Hmmm? Settled. States are free to decide what’s in the public safety: whether someone is here illegally or not, immigrant status is a valid criterion.

        This isn’t a regulation of immigration. This is regulation of firearms within a state according to standards the state deems relevant for legitimate public safety purposes, which is a long established and accepted constitutional principle. The state isn’t regulating the movement of people themselves, so the regulation of immigration angle is pure canard.

    • Either you believe that these rights are natural (“God-given”, or whatever you want to call it), or not. If you accept that they are, then they apply equally to everyone, citizen or not. If you do not accept that, then you agree that the state may take them away from you for the sake of public good eventually.

      The Constitution is also clear on this: the right of people to keep and bear arms. Not citizens. And Constitution is pretty clear when it talks about some rights or privileges that are specific to citizens – it actually uses the term “citizen” then (like when it talks about qualifications to hold office).

      All in all, your rant is sadly typical of anti-immigration sentiment in the USA – you begin with a parade of horribles associated with illegal immigration, and then somehow make the jump and claim that legal or illegal doesn’t matter at all. Well, it does.

    • I think the above person confuses legal with illegal Alien. Remember most legal alien/residents go on to become citizens with full rights.
      Maybe he thinks he is superior to immigrants, or just does not care about people who are not like him.
      Immigrants have gone through fingerprinting and background checks before we were granted green cards, we live in the same neighborhood, visit the same places, and are exposed to the same dangers.
      Yes I am an immigrant, that bought guns and obtained a CCW license before becoming an American Citizen.

  14. CT changed the law about 18 years ago to allow legal aliens/green card holders to obtain concealed carry.

  15. Anyone have an update on this? It has been 8 months, but I haven’t been able to find out the status. Thanks.

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