People living in the United States illegally have a constitutional right to bear arms but are still barred from doing so by a separate law, a federal appeals court ruled.
The three-judge panel of the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling Thursday in a case involving Mariano Meza-Rodriguez. His family brought him to the United States from Mexico illegally when he was four or five years old, according to the 7th Circuit ruling. Now an adult, he was arrested in 2013 after a bar fight in Milwaukee. Police found a .22-caliber bullet in his shorts pocket.
Federal law prohibits people in the country illegally from possessing guns or ammunition. Meza-Rodriguez argued that the charges should be dismissed because the law infringes on his Second Amendment right to bear arms. U.S. District Judge Rudolph Randa rejected that contention on the broad ground that the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to people in the country illegally. Meza-Rodriguez was ultimately convicted of a felony and deported.
The 7th Circuit panel, however, ruled unanimously Thursday that the term “the people” in the Second Amendment’s guarantee that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed also applies to those in the country illegally.
Read more: journaltimes.com