BELLEVUE, WA - The chief U.S. District Court judge in New Mexico granted a permanent injunction yesterday against the State of New Mexico's "citizens only" concealed carry law that unfairly discriminated against permanent legal resident aliens in a case brought by the Second Amendment Foundation.
Chief Judge M. Christina Armijo issued an order yesterday that says the New Mexico statute "violates the Equal Protection Clause" of the Constitution's Fourteenth Amendment.
"This is a victory not only for our plaintiff, John W. Jackson, but for all permanent legal resident aliens who are otherwise qualified to obtain a concealed handgun license," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb.
Jackson is an Australian citizen, but resides in Rio Rancho, N.M.
"One of the more significant notations in the ruling," Gottlieb said, "is that the court found New Mexico's statute discriminates on the basis of alienage, and as a result, was subject to strict scrutiny."
The ruling does not declare the state's concealed carry law unconstitutional, but it does conclude that the remedy for violating the equal protection clause is to sever the citizenship provision from the statute. This can be done, the judge said, "without impairing the remainder" of the state's concealed carry law, which still requires an applicant to meet all of the state's remaining requirements.
"This is one more example of how SAF is winning firearms rights one lawsuit at a time," Gottlieb said. "Mr. Jackson has demonstrated that he is a productive member of the community and certainly did not give up any right to personal protection by moving from his country to our country."
The Second Amendment Foundation(www.saf.org
) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.