7th Circuit Court: Illegal Immigrants Have Second Amendment Rights Too

By AWR Hawkins

.22LR Ammunition
Mariano Meza-Rodriguez, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested in August 2013… [and found to be] carrying a .22 caliber cartridge
AmmoLand Gun News
AmmoLand Gun News

Washington DC – -(Ammoland.com)- In a case regarding a specific gun control law which bans “unauthorized aliens” (illegal immigrants) from possessing firearms in the United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit did the work of a contortionist by upholding the law while also pointing out that they “see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded.”

In a word—illegal immigrants have Second Amendment rights too.

The case was titled United States v. Meza-Rodriguez, and the decision was handed down on August 20 2015.

The Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports that the decision was written by Judge Diane Wood “for a panel that included Judges Frank Easterbrook and Joel Flaum.”

As for the background to the case, Wood explained that “Mariano Meza-Rodriguez, a citizen of Mexico, was arrested in August 2013… [and found to be] carrying a .22 caliber cartridge.” Because he did not have “documentation” to show that he was in the United States lawfully, he was charged as being in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5), which forbids illegal immigrants from possessing firearms in the United States.

Meza-Rodriquez was indicted. He then challenged the indictment by claiming “§ 922(g)(5) impermissibly infringed on his rights under the Second Amendment to the Constitution.” The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin rejected Meza-Rodriquez’s claim, thereby upholding the indictment. He appealed the District Court’s decision, thus bringing the case to the 7th Circuit.

In working through the case, Wood indicated that certain aspects of the language in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008) support the view “that all people, including non-U.S. citizens, whether or not they are authorized to be in the country, enjoy at least some rights under the Second Amendment.”

She elaborated:

In a post-Heller world, where it is now clear that the Second Amendment right to bear arms is no second-class entitlement, we see no principled way to carve out the Second Amendment and say that the unauthorized (or maybe all noncitizens) are excluded. No language in the Amendment supports such a conclusion, nor, as we have said, does a broader consideration of the Bill of Rights.

Yet the 7th Circuit upheld the District Court’s ruling—which upheld Meza-Rodriguez’s indictment—on the grounds that “the Second Amendment does not preclude certain restrictions on the right to bear arms, including the one imposed by § 922(g)(5).”

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins.

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Ken Kiger
Ken Kiger
5 years ago

Again the Law of the Land from D.C. v Heller: “Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited.” “Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment , nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.26” No need to suppose or form… Read more »

Randy Crawford
Randy Crawford
5 years ago

This must mean that since penitentiaries and particularly death row are dangerous places that are risky to the safety of their inhabitants, we now must allow handguns and rifles to anybody requesting them from behind bars. That would go for the guys held at Guantanamo too, who need to protect themselves, and the people attending court and watching genius judges make genius decisions. Don’t forget the mass murder nut jobs locked up in the insane asylums, we apparently cannot limit their access to firearms either.

Ken Kiger
Ken Kiger
5 years ago

In the United States, “citizenship” is not a prerequisite for exercising the Right to keep and bear arms and although restated in the 2008 D.C. v Heller, the Right so stated by the Supreme Court goes back to over 130 years. From Heller: “As we said in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U. S. 542, 553 (1876) , “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed … .”16” The Second Amendment instead of being the origin… Read more »

Mutantone
Mutantone
5 years ago

so following this logic criminals can own fire arms under the second amendment, or did the meaning of “illegal” change while I was asleep?

ExNuke
ExNuke
4 years ago
Reply to  Mutantone

No it means that the Government can’t realistically stop a criminal from having a gun unless they are locked up. Even then they often manage to acquire drugs, weapons and other prohibited items. Would passing a law that dogs have to peacefully coexist with cats prevent cats from being bitten? Their laws are as realistic as declawing cats to “keep them safe”. Pretending that they can prevent anything as basic as a criminal having the tools of his trade just makes them look foolish to anyone one who lives in the real world. Wishing really, really hard won’t keep Tinker… Read more »

Gene Galitz
Gene Galitz
5 years ago

All rights guaranteed by our constitution are rights for our citizens; not illegal invaders. How a CRIMINAL can “break into our country” and then use our laws against us is a -10 on the stupid scale. I’m at a loss for further words to describe the sad state our country is in.

Infidel7.62
Infidel7.62
5 years ago
Reply to  Gene Galitz

Exactly

Boz
Boz
5 years ago
Reply to  Gene Galitz

Bingo my friend!

Dr Dave
Dr Dave
5 years ago
Reply to  Gene Galitz

That is not how the BoR is written. It is written as a right given to everyone simply by existence and then simply goes on to state that this pre-existing right shall not be infringed upon. So basically everyone here has the right to speech arms and the like and the BoR is just stating it openly not creating the right from that day forward.

bob
bob
5 years ago

How does “shall not be infringed” not preclude restrictions on the right to bear arms?