BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation today filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Montana, challenging the state law that does not allow concealed carry licenses to be issued to legal resident aliens, because only citizens are issued such permits in the Big Sky Country.
“This is not our first rodeo on this subject,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “We’ve successfully fought similar laws in New Mexico, North Carolina and Omaha, Nebraska. In other states, such as Washington, just the threat of legal action has resulted in a change of the law.”
The case is brought on behalf of Lenka Knutson, a 34-year-old mother of two who resides in Whitefish with her husband and children. She received a permanent resident visa in 2005, and has worked as a bank teller supervisor in Whitefish since 2007. She is a SAF member, as well.
“The Courts have repeatedly stated that lawful resident aliens have the same Second Amendment rights as everyone else, and still some states choose to discriminate against them on this point,” said attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Ill., who is handling this case for SAF. “It is our hope this unfair and illegal law will be swiftly struck down.”
“SAF has opposed such laws wherever and whenever we find them,” Gottlieb stated. “Even non-citizens are afforded protections under our constitution, including the right to keep and bear arms. It is inconsistent with our tradition of liberty that people who come to our country legally and become productive members of the community shouldn’t have the same personal protection rights as anyone, because criminals do not play favorites, even in Montana.
“Our lawsuit is firmly grounded in the recognition and incorporation of the Second Amendment that came with our Supreme Court victory in McDonald v. City of Chicago,” he noted. “We also believe the Fourteenth Amendment’s equal protection clause renders the state law to be unconstitutional.
“This is one more example of SAF’s ongoing effort to win firearms freedom one lawsuit at a time,” he concluded. “Our track record has been solid on this, as we have won more Second Amendment lawsuits than anyone else.”