Thursday, June 26, 2014
The Second Amendment Foundation Returns To North Carolina
The first case brought after the win in McDonald v. Chicago extended the Second Amendment to the states was in North Carolina. Bateman v. Perdue challenged the state's law that restricted possession of firearms and ammunition outside the home during a state of emergency. Bateman was brought by the Second Amendment Foundation (among others) and was ultimately a win. Citizens of North Carolina are now allowed to protect themselves during states of emergency.
The Second Amendment Foundation has now returned to North Carolina to challenge the state's restriction of Concealed Handgun Permits to US citizens. Felicity Todd Veasey is an Australian citizen and legal permanent resident living in Butner who is married to a US citizen. Mrs. Veasey has lived in North Carolina for the last 10 years and wishes to obtain a Concealed Handgun Permit. Named as the defendant in the case is Sheriff Brindell Wilkins, Jr. in his official capacity as sheriff of Granville County. North Carolina Concealed Handgun Permits are issued by the sheriffs of the respective counties.
This case follows on the heels of winning cases challenging state restrictions of firearm permits and concealed carry permits to only citizens. Alienage is a suspect class under Constitutional precedent and the state must show a compelling governmental interest in restrictions concerning citizenship. The Second Amendment Foundation has won similar cases in Nebraska, New Mexico, Massachusetts, and elsewhere while the ACLU has brought similar winning cases in South Dakota and Kentucky.
Veasey v. Wilkins seeks a preliminary and permanent injunction against this provision as well as a declaratory judgment stating that it is unconstitutional. The case is being brought on the grounds that the provision violates the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment and that it violates Mrs. Veasey's rights to keep and bear arms under the 2nd and 14th Amendments. The lead attorney in the case is David Sigale of Illinois who has served as lead attorney in a number of similar cases.
You can read the Second Amendment Foundation's release on the case here. As Alan Gottlieb of SAF notes in the release, "we seem (to)keep finding such laws on the books and we have to challenge them."
The full complaint is located here.
UPDATE: As Sean's comments indicate, the North Carolina General Assembly was urged to change the citizenship requirement but blew it off. Now it is going to cost the state time, effort, and money to correct their error. If they were smart, they'd fold immediately, pay SAF a reasonable amount for legal fees, and change the law.