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 case is entitled Pot et al. v. Witt. I will post a link to the complaint later today.
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.
UPDATE: Here is the link to the complaint in the case.