Federal judge rules illegal immigrants can possess firearms under 2A

Coleman previously denied Carbajal-Flores’ motion to dismiss his indictment in April 2022, finding that the ban was constitutional. He later asked the court to reconsider after the Bruen decision by the Supreme Court.

Hannah Nightingale Washington DC

A District Court judge in Illinois has ruled that prohibiting illegal immigrants from possessing firearms is a violation of the Second Amendment.

US District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled on March 8 that the "noncitizen possession statute" as laid out by 18 USC Section 922(g)(5) "violates the Second Amendment as applied" to defendant Hariberto Carbajal-Flores.

Carbajal-Flores was charged with violating this law, which states that it is unlawful for a person "who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States," and was arrested in June of 2020 in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois with a handgun in his possession. He said that he "received and used the handgun for self-protection and protection of property," and has no felony convictions, Coleman wrote.

Coleman, an Obama appointee, cited the 2022 Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v Bruen, which found that New York State could not constitutionally prevent people from carrying a pistol in public. 

Coleman said this case "established a framework for analyzing whether a challenged firearm regulation violates the Second Amendment." This framework includes courts determining whether the "Second Amendment’s plain text covers an individual’s conduct."

"This Court previously held that Carbajal-Flores’ conduct is covered by the plain text of the Second Amendment…Nothing has occurred that would cause the Court to depart from its prior ruling."

Coleman previously denied Carbajal-Flores’ motion to dismiss his indictment in April 2022, finding that the ban was constitutional, according to Fox News. He later asked the court to reconsider after the Bruen decision by the Supreme Court.

Coleman said that the "Second Amendment’s plain text presumptively protects firearms possession by undocumented persons."

"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," the judge wrote. "Additionally, Pretrial Service has confirmed that Carbajal-Flores has consistently adhered to and fulfilled all the stipulated conditions of his release, is gainfully employed, and has no new arrests or outstanding warrants."

"The Court finds that Carbajal-Flores’ criminal record, containing no improper use of a weapon, as well as the non-violent circumstances of his arrest do not support a finding that he poses a risk to public safety such that he cannot be trusted to use a weapon responsibly and should be deprived of his Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense," Judge Coleman wrote. "Thus, this Court finds that, as applied to Carbajal-Flores, Section 922(g)(5) is unconstitutional."

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