Tuesday, May 13, 2014

SAF Wins In Arkansas

The Second Amendment Foundation has won another lawsuit challenging restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of permanent legal residents. This time it was a challenge against the state of Arkansas' restriction of concealed carry permits to US citizens only.

Admittedly, these type of cases are low hanging fruit insomuch as alienage is a suspect class and strict scrutiny must be applied when a fundamental right involving a suspect class is involved. That said, they need to challenged and the Second Amendment Foundation is well-placed to do it.

The release from SAF is below. As I've said before, I wish the Second Amendment Foundation would stick to the courts and that the NRA-ILA would stick to legislatures. Those are the arenas in which they each do their best. By doing so, it would best for gun rights and would avoid what I consider foolish gestures like this one on background checks.

BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has won a significant victory on behalf of legal resident aliens in Arkansas, with a federal district court there declaring the state’s citizen-only concealed carry licensing law unconstitutional, and granting a permanent injunction against its enforcement on behalf of a man named Martin Pot (pronounced Pote), a citizen of the Netherlands.

U.S. District Judge Timothy L. Brooks, for the Western District of Arkansas, handed down the ruling. He ordered the state to pay SAF $10,000 in attorney’s fees and court costs of $726.41. SAF and Mr. Pot were represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.

The lawsuit, filed last November, challenged the Arkansas statute because it “completely prohibits resident legal aliens from the concealed carry of guns, in public, for the purpose of self-defense. Colonel Stan Witt, director of the Arkansas State Police, was named as the defendant in his official capacity.

“This is yet another victory in our effort to expand Second Amendment protections in the United States,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Mr. Pot is a law-abiding resident of Eureka Springs, and has been so since 1986. 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.”

While Arkansas statute allowed Pot to possess a firearm only in his home, on his property or – under certain circumstances – while on a “journey,” he was prohibited from obtaining a concealed carry permit because he is not a citizen.

“This case is not unique,” Gottlieb noted. “SAF has successfully challenged other state laws, in New Mexico, Washington, Nebraska and Massachusetts. Legal resident aliens should not be penalized at the expense of their self-defense rights. This was a good outcome to a case that should help lots of people.

“This is another case where SAF is winning firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded.


  1. Low hanging fruit is quite valuable. If this case (have not read it, yet) truly used strict scrutiny to evaluate the right, then it is worth a great deal more than the win itself.

    Building a long case history of using strict scrutiny to evaluate 2A (any part of 2A) is exceptionally valuable. That kind of stuff wins long term goodies. Every case that every group can file (and win) that forces evaluation using strict scrutiny is worth its weight in gold.

  2. Thanks for pointing this one out. Today is a good day to donate - I've hit SAF, CGF, and the NRA. :)

    1. Awesome.

      Don't forget your state group - if you live in occupied territory. If you live in a free state, maybe "adopt" a restricted state and help them do the right thing!

  3. Great news. As a Canadian citizen who still has a couple years to go before I can write my citizenship test and become a US citizen, this requirement in AR law was preventing me from applying for a CHL. I'll email the Attorney General to ask if he will issue an edict to the ASP on this ruling so they are clear on the processing of applications.