Federal Judge: Illegal Migrants May Possess Firearms

An Obama-appointed District Court judge in Illinois ruled that illegal migrants are protected by the Second Amendment and may possess firearms.

The surprising decision from U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman determined that federal law prohibiting the possession of weapons by those illegally in the country is unconstitutional. The case involved an illegal migrant, Hariberto Carbajal-Flores.

The defendant was arrested in Chicago in June of 2020 and charged with illegally possessing a firearm. The law which applied to his case specifically stated that a person “who, being an alien, is illegally or unlawfully in the United States” may not have a gun.

Coleman relied on the landmark 2022 Bruen decision reached by the U.S. Supreme Court. The majority established that gun control laws must be consistent with the nation’s historical tradition of firearms regulations.

The judge acknowledged that the high court ruling “established a framework for analyzing whether a challenged firearm regulation violates the Second Amendment.”

Ironically, Coleman previously ruled that Carbajal-Flores was not protected by the Constitution. That decision, however, preceded the Bruen case.

The defendant then asked the court to reconsider his conviction after the high court ruling, and Coleman once again took up the case. She determined the “Second Amendment’s plain text presumptively protects firearms possession by undocumented persons.” 

Carbajal-Flores contended he acquired the weapon during the social unrest and violence of 2020 for self-defense. 

According to court records, the plaintiff fired his gun at vehicles coming into his neighborhood after police warned of possible threats. He had no criminal record before the incident. 

The surprise ruling sets up a potential Supreme Court showdown that could determine gun rights for millions of illegal migrants in the U.S. Gun rights have notably been expanded in recent years, but these presumptively apply to American citizens. 

Justice Clarence Thomas previously wrote that the Second Amendment is applicable to individual conduct. This led some to determine that this protection exists despite legal status. 

Addressing the issue on NewsNation’s “On Balance,” former federal prosecutor Shanlon Wu said Tuesday that Congress will likely have to act. She claimed there is no question but that the Constitution also applied to illegal migrants.

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  • G
    March 21, 2024

    Hmm – if a person is illegally in our Republic, doesn’t that by default make them a ‘prohibited person’ – at least that would seem to be the case based on the form 4473. Maybe this ‘judge’ needs to read that form and the text contained on it. Note well, I am not saying that the human right to defend ones self and family should be restricted but this ‘ruling’ flies in the face of common sense (which isn’t) especially in light of all of the attempts to disarm law abiding Citizens across the country.

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