Federal Court Rules Illegal Immigrants do not have Right to Bear Arms

Friday, December 21, 2012

An illegal immigrant living in South Carolina tried unsuccessfully to convince the federal courts that he was entitled to protections under the Second Amendment for having guns in his home.


When immigration agents entered the Orangeburg residence of Mexican national Nicolas Carpio-Leon on February 24, 2011, they found a rifle, a pistol and ammunition. He was brought up on charges of illegally possessing firearms.


Carpio-Leon, who had lived in the U.S. without authorization for 13 years, claimed he had the right to keep firearms around to protect his home and family.


A federal judge disagreed with his reasoning, which led Carpio-Leon to appeal to the Fourth Circuit. There, he lost again. The justices concluded that the Second Amendment right to bear arms does not extend to illegal immigrants because the amendment only applies to “law-abiding citizens” and they are not law-abiding citizens.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Illegal Immigrant Loses Fight to Bear Arms (by Julia Filip, Courthouse News Service)

United States v. Nicolas Carpio-Leon (Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals) (pdf)


Pavelina 5 years ago
Quite right! The rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution apply to "We the People of the United States of America", as stated in the Preamble, not to "We the People of the World."

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