SAF Wins Preliminary Injunction In New Mexico Case

The Second Amendment Foundation was granted a preliminary injunction in their case challenging the state of New Mexico’s requirement requiring US citizenship for the granting of a concealed carry permit. Chief Judge for the District of New Mexico M. Christina Armijo granted the preliminary injunction in Jackson et al v. King et al on Friday.

The decision published on Monday concluded:

The Court, applying the heightened standard applicable to disfavored injunctions,
finds that Plaintiffs have satisfied each of the requirements for obtaining preliminary
injunctive relief.

Defendant Hubbard has failed to establish that a legal permanent resident alien
such as Mr. Jackson poses a greater risk of danger by virtue of his or her status alone,
than do citizens, with respect to the carrying of concealed weapons.

The Court further concludes that the citizenship provision in Section 29-19-
14(A)(1) is severable from the remainder of the Concealed Handgun Carry Act.

IT IS THEREFORE HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiffs’ Motion for
Preliminary Injunction is GRANTED and Defendant Hubbard is preliminarily enjoined
from enforcing the citizenship provision in Section 29-19-14(A)(1) of the Concealed
Handgun Carry Act pending resolution of this action.

In a separate order, Chief Judge Armijo dismissed the case against NM Attorney General Gary King for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted and for lack of standing. She did allow the case to continue against Bill Hubbard in his official capacity as Director of the Special Investigations Section of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety. It was Mr. Hubbard that was enjoined in the above decision.

The Second Amendment Foundation released the following statement yesterday on the preliminary injunction:

BELLEVUE, WA — The Second Amendment Foundation has won a preliminary injunction against a part of the State of New Mexico’s concealed carry statute on the grounds that it violates the right of equal protection under the law.

The ruling, handed down by the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico, was signed by M. Christina Armijo, the chief district judge.

SAF filed the legal action on behalf of John Jackson, a permanent legal resident alien who could not obtain a concealed carry permit under existing New Mexico statute because he is not a U.S. citizen. SAF has challenged similar bans in other jurisdictions.

“We’re delighted with the outcome of this challenge,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “The right of self-protection should not be denied to people who are active and productive members of the community simply because they do not meet the citizenship requirement of a state statute.”

In reaching its ruling, the court applied a heightened standard of scrutiny and concluded that the citizenship provision of New Mexico’s law is severable from the remainder of the state Concealed Handgun Carry Act.

“While the law allowed Mr. Jackson to openly carry a firearm,” Gottlieb noted, “there are certain areas and circumstances when doing so would be imprudent or potentially in violation of other legal restrictions. This ruling will make it possible for Mr. Jackson and other legal resident aliens to exercise their right to bear arms.”

SAF Files Suit In New Mexico Over Law Barring CCW Permits For Legal Resident Aliens

The Second Amendment Foundation filed suit today in the US District Court for the District of New Mexico challenging that state’s ban on concealed carry permits for resident legal aliens. Similar suits have been brought in Kentucky and South Dakota by the ACLU and in both cases the plaintiff won. SAF just won a suit in Massachusetts, Fletcher et al v. Haas et al, over their discrimination against the gun rights of legal resident aliens.

As was the case in three earlier suits involving legal resident aliens, the State of New Mexico is on shakey legal ground denying them permits. Laws that discriminate based on “alienage” are subject to strict scrutiny. This suit seeks a declaration that the portion of the New Mexico Concealed Handgun Carry Act which limits it to US citizens is unconstitutional and an injunction against its enforcement.

If I had to make a prediction, New Mexico will either fold quickly and settle or a summary motion will be introduced and granted declaring the law unconstitutional. In another similar case in Omaha, Nebraska, that city folded rather quickly.


For Immediate Release: 4/23/2012

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in New Mexico challenging that state’s prohibition on the issuance of concealed carry permits to legal resident aliens.

SAF filed the complaint in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico on behalf of John W. Jackson, an Australian citizen who came to the United States with his wife, an American citizen, in 2007. He obtained permanent resident status in November 2008. They are represented by Albuquerque attorney Paul M. Kienzle, III and Glen Ellyn, Illinois attorney David Sigale. Named as defendants in the case, in their official capacities, are New Mexico Attorney General Gary King and Bill Hubbard, director of the Special Investigations of the New Mexico Department of Public Safety.

“Legal resident aliens in the United States should have the same personal protection rights as anyone,” noted SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb, “because criminals do not play favorites. Mr. Jackson is a productive member of his community, and his plight is shared by many legal alien residents.”

According to the SAF complaint, the laws of New Mexico completely prohibit resident legal aliens from the concealed carry of guns, in public, for the purpose of self-defense. In New Mexico, only citizens may have the benefit of an armed defense by concealed carry.

“Our lawsuit is firmly grounded in the recognition and incorporation of the Second Amendment that came with our Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago,” Gottlieb noted. “We also believe the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause renders the State’s ban on non-citizens obtaining a concealed carry permit to be unconstitutional. Mr. Jackson and others like him only seek to be treated the same as law-abiding citizens. The Second Amendment renders a ban such as that challenged in our action to be impermissible.

“We just won a similar case in Massachusetts,” he said, “and we will pursue this case with equal vigor.”

The lawsuit seeks to enjoin King and Hubbard from further enforcing the state ban on the issuance of concealed carry permits to non-citizens, and to declare that the law is null and void because it violates the Second Amendment’s right to keep and bear arms, and the 14th Amendment’s equal protection clause.

H/T SayUncle