The Second Amendment Foundation Returns To North Carolina

The first case brought after the win in McDonald v. Chicago extended the Second Amendment to the states was in North Carolina. Bateman v. Perdue challenged the state’s law that restricted possession of firearms and ammunition outside the home during a state of emergency. Bateman was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation (among others) and was ultimately a win. Citizens of North Carolina are now allowed to protect themselves during states of emergency.

The Second Amendment Foundation has now returned to North Carolina to challenge the state’s restriction of  Concealed Handgun Permits to US citizens. Felicity Todd Veasey is an Australian citizen and legal permanent resident living in Butner who is married to a US citizen. Mrs. Veasey has lived in North Carolina for the last 10 years and wishes to obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit. Named as the defendant in the case is Sheriff Brindell Wilkins, Jr. in his official capacity as sheriff of Granville County. North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permits are issued by the sheriffs of the respective counties.

This case follows on the heels of winning cases challenging state restrictions of firearm permits and concealed carry permits to only citizens. Alienage is a suspect class under Constitutional precedent and the state must show a compelling governmental interest in restrictions concerning citizenship. The Second Amendment Foundation has won similar cases in Nebraska, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and elsewhere while the ACLU has brought similar winning cases in South Dakota and Kentucky.

Veasey v. Wilkins seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction against this provision as well as a declaratory judgment stating that it is unconstitutional. The case is being brought on the grounds that the provision violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and that it violates Mrs. Veasey’s rights to keep and bear arms under the 2nd and 14th Amendments. The lead attorney in the case is David Sigale of Illinois who has served as lead attorney in a number of similar cases.

You can read the Second Amendment Foundation’s release on the case here. As Alan Gottlieb of SAF notes in the release, “we seem (to)keep finding such laws on the books and we have to challenge them.”

The full complaint is located here.

UPDATE: As Sean’s comments indicate, the North Carolina General Assembly was urged to change the citizenship requirement but blew it off. Now it is going to cost the state time, effort, and money to correct their error. If they were smart, they’d fold immediately, pay SAF a reasonable amount for legal fees, and change the law.

SAF Files Suit In Arkansas Challenging Ban On Carry By Legal Aliens

The Second Amendment Foundation has filed another in their series of suits challenging the denial of gun rights to legal aliens. In this case, Martin Pot is a Dutch citizen who has resided in Arkansas since 1986 and would like to obtain a concealed carry permit. Arkansas law currently limits concealed carry permits to US citizens.

Laws barring possession or carry permits by legal aliens are low hanging fruit because courts have consistently ruled against them. In cases in Kentucky, South Dakota, Massachusetts, New Mexico, and Nebraska brought by both the Second Amendment Foundation and the ACLU, courts have held that alienage is a suspect class, that strict scrutiny must be applied in these cases, and that laws banning possession or carry by legal aliens fail to meet that criteria.

The release from the Second Amendment Foundation gives more details on the case below:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arkansas on behalf of a legal resident alien, alleging that his right to keep and bear arms is being violated by a state law that prevents him from obtaining a concealed carry license.

The lawsuit, on behalf of Martin Pot (pronounced Poht), a citizen of the Netherlands, challenges the Arkansas statute because it “completely prohibits resident legal aliens from the concealed carry of guns, in public, for the purpose of self-defense. Named as a defendant in the case is Colonel Stan Witt, director of the Arkansas State Police.

“Mr. Pot is a law-abiding resident of Eureka Springs, and has been so since 1986,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “He is self-employed and is a productive member of the community, with an American-born wife and family. He came here almost 30 years ago, met and married his wife, and has many solid connections in his community.”

SAF and Mr. Pot are represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

“When I first spoke with Mr. Pot over the telephone, I was alarmed at the prospect of his being denied a fundamental constitutional civil right because of the discriminatory citizenship requirement that was added to the law,” said SAF general counsel Miko Tempski. “He previously had a license, but under the revised statute, the state will not renew it.”

Gottlieb noted that Pot is allowed to possess a firearm in Arkansas only in his home, on his property or – under certain circumstances – while on a “journey.” However, state law prohibits him from obtaining a concealed carry permit because he is not a citizen.

“This is not the first time we have taken an action on behalf of a resident alien,” Gottlieb said, “and we are very confident that this will be a successful case. We have faced similar successful challenges in Washington, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Nebraska.”

SAF is seeking a declaration from the court that the citizenship requirement contained in Arkansas law is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.

The case is entitled Pot et al. v. Witt. I will post a link to the complaint later today.

UPDATE: Here is the link to the complaint in the case.

SAF Files Suit In Missouri Over Concealed Carry For Legal Immigrants

In a case that is similar to their winning efforts against the City of Omaha, the Second Amendment Foundation has filed suit in Federal District Court on behalf of a Canadian who is a legal permanent resident. Edward Plastino resides just north of St. Louis and is seeking to obtain a Missouri concealed carry permit but is prohibited by law. As noted here a number of times in the past, discrimination based upon alienage is considered suspect and is subject to strict scrutiny.

From the SAF release:

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a Canadian citizen who is a legal resident of Missouri, challenging that state’s statutory prohibition on the carrying of concealed firearms by non-citizens.

The case seeks to overturn the state’s non-citizen concealed carry ban on constitutional grounds, specifically the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause. The plaintiff is Edward F. Plastino, a Canadian citizen and Status Indian, based on his partial Chippewa heritage. He has lived primarily in this country since 1995, and in Missouri since 2006. SAF and Plastino are represented by attorneys Matthew Singer of St. Louis and David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Ill.

“This is a case similar to our successful lawsuits against the City of Omaha and Washington State, and our current action in New Mexico, challenging local gun laws that discriminate against legal resident aliens,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Mister Plastino can legally carry a firearm openly in Missouri, but he cannot legally conceal a firearm for personal protection. That simply does not make sense.”

Plastino was in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina and its immediate aftermath, but his employer transferred him to St. Louis and then to St. Charles, Mo.

“Mr. Plastino would carry a concealed firearm for personal protection,” Gottlieb said, “except that he realizes he could face prosecution, fine and imprisonment, and other repercussions because he is a non-citizen.”

Defendants in the case are Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster and St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer, in their respective official capacities.

“Mr. Plastino has lived and worked in the United States for more than a decade,” Gottlieb noted. “His case represents the plight of untold numbers of legal resident aliens who have demonstrated their willingness to be good members of their communities and abide by our laws. It seems only right to allow them the same protections as our citizens against people who do not abide by our laws.”

SAF Sues Massachusetts On Gun Rights For Legal Resident Aliens

The Second Amendment Foundation along with Commonwealth Second Amendment is suing the Commonwealth of Massachusetts because of their refusal to grant legal resident aliens the ability to obtain a Firearms ID Card or a License to Carry.

As was the case in two earlier suits involving legal resident aliens, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is on shakey legal ground denying them permits. Laws that discriminate based on “alienage” are subject to strict scrutiny. I am a bit surprised that the ACLU of Massachusetts didn’t see fit to bring this case as they did in Kentucky and South Dakota. Here is a link to the Kentucky case for some background on how courts have dealt with denial of gun rights to legal resident aliens.


BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a federal lawsuit challenging a law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that denies legal resident aliens the licenses required to possess a handgun in the home for self-defense, or purchase any kind of firearm.

The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Joining SAF in this lawsuit are Commonwealth Second Amendment, a Massachusetts grassroots organization, and two British citizens who reside in the commonwealth. They are represented by attorney Joseph M. Hickson III of Springfield. Defendants are Cambridge Police Commissioner Robert C. Haas, Northboro Police Chief Mark k. Leahy and Jason A. Guida, director of the Firearms Records Bureau in Chelsea.

The lawsuit alleges that Christopher M. Fletcher of Cambridge and Eoin M. Pryal of Northboro – both legal resident aliens – have been specifically denied the ability to obtain a Firearms Identification Card or a License to Carry of any kind. Before moving to Massachusetts, Fletcher lived in California, where he had a Basic Firearms Safety certificate and Handgun Safety certificate, which allowed him to purchase and own firearms including handguns. Pryal, who is married to a citizen of this country, and had a shotgun certificate and international dealer’s license while living in the United Kingdom.

“One of the fundamental principles in this country is that people have rights,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “Among those rights is the right of self-defense, especially in one’s own home. Christopher Fletcher and Eoin Pryal live here legally, they have been firearms owners, they are productive members of the community, yet they are being denied a basic right by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. This is wrong and our court challenge aims to correct that.”

“This lawsuit truly illustrates the contradictory and irrational nature of the Commonwealths’ firearms laws,” Comm2A President Brent Carlton added. “Governor Deval Patrick’s administration has broadly supported the immigrant community and noted our dependence on them for our continued prosperity while Massachusetts law treats those same individuals as inherently dangerous enough to justify their exclusion from certain fundamental rights protected by the Constitution of the United States. This blanket prohibition runs contrary to the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and today’s challenge is supported overwhelmingly by well-established legal precedent.”

The Second Amendment Foundation has posted a copy of the complaint in Fletcher et al v. Haas et al here.