Thursday, December 20, 2012

No Second Amendment Protection for Illegal Alien

US v. Carpio-Leon: Carpio-Leon had lived in the country illegally for 13 years, with his wife and three children (all of whom were born in the US). During a consensual search of Carpio-Leon's house (the opinion doesn't say based on what) officers recovered firearms and ammunition. Carpio-Leon was charged with being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and illegal entry into the US. After the district court denied his motion to dismiss under Heller, Carpio-Leon pleaded guilty, sentenced to time served, and ordered deported. On appeal, Carpio-Leon renewed his Second Amendment challenged to the illegal alien in possession of a firearm statute (922(g)(5)).

The Fourth Circuit affirmed his conviction and sentence. Rather than resolve the issue of whether illegal immigrants were part of "the people" as understood at the time the Second Amendment was ratified, the court concluded that they are not part of the "law abiding" community to which Second Amendment protections extend. The court further noted that this was so because of a designation made by Congress in an area in which it was owed great deference, i.e., immigration. Thus, Carpio-Leon had no protections under the Second Amendment. The court also rejected Carpio-Leon's argument that he was denied equal protection under the Fifth Amendment, because 922(g)(5) survives a rational basis analysis.

No comments: