Judge Rules Illegal Immigrants Can Possess Firearms

Earlier this month, a federal district judge ruled that a legal precedent forbidding illegal immigrants from owning firearms was unconstitutional.

Judge Sharon Coleman of Illinois issued a ruling on March 8 that the “noncitizen possession statute” applied to an illegal immigrant named Hariberto Carbajal-Flores “violates the Second Amendment.” The illegal immigrant was arrested in 2020 in Chicago, having been found in possession of a handgun and charged with violating a federal law that bans illegal immigrants from having firearms.

However, Obama-appointed Coleman wrote in her decision that Carbajal-Flores only had the gun “for self-protection and protection of property,” adding that he does not have a criminal record. The judge also cited a Supreme Court decision from 2022 that determined it was unconstitutional for the state of New York to forbid citizens from carrying pistols in public.

The judge explained that the 2022 case serves as a precedent for determining “whether a challenged firearm regulation violates the Second Amendment” and also accounts for scenarios in which “plain text covers an individual’s conduct.” She stated that Carbajal-Flores’ actions had previously been determined as “covered by the plain text of the Second Amendment” and that “nothing has occurred” to change her mind.In April 2022, the illegal immigrant filed a motion to dismiss his indictment, which was denied by Coleman.

Following another request for reconsideration after the New York ruling, Coleman has ruled that Carbajal-Flores’ right to own a gun is “presumptively” covered by the Second Amendment.

The judge further explained in the ruling that the illegal immigrant is not violating any laws and has “consistently adhered to and fulfilled all the stipulated conditions of his release.” According to Carbajal-Flores, he only bought and used the gun for self and property protection amid “documented civil unrest” in spring 2020.

The ruling has been met with disagreement from many Americans who are frustrated with Democrat-led attempts to remove firearms from the possession of law-abiding citizens. Former prosecutor Shan Wu also discussed the ruling and its potentially broad ramifications with Leland Vittert on NewsNation’s On Balance.

When asked if allowing illegal immigrants the right to bear arms would open the door to legally permitting them to vote, work and practice medicine, Wu explained that the language of the statute does pose a risk for unlawful American residents to demand the same rights as legal citizens.

He added that it requires one to “draw the statute more narrowly” to apply to firearm possession specifically, as even illegal immigrants are considered “persons” under the United States Constitution.