Illegal aliens have a constitutional right to bear arms–according to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
The decision, handed down on Thursday, comes after a violent summer where a number of illegal aliens have been named suspects in murders of American citizens–namely, in the death of Kate Steinle, a young woman who was shot and killed in a crowded tourist pier in San Francisco, as she walked with her father.
The case that the 7th Circuit judged involved Mariano Meza-Rodriguez. Meza-Rodrigueze was brought to the United States by his parents when he was four or five years old.
Now an adult, he was arrested in 2013 after getting into a bar fight. Police found a bullet in his shorts pocket, although no firearm.
Federal law banned illegals from purchasing guns or ammunition–but Meza-Rodriguez instead argued that the law was unconstitutional, because the Second Amendment protects the right for him to bear arms on American soil.
A lower court ruled that, despite Meza-Rodriguez’s claims, the Second Amendment doesn’t apply to illegal immigrants. Meza-Rodriguez was convicted and deported.
But now, the 7th Circuit has turned that decision on its heels–agreeing that the Second Amendment, which guarantees “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed,” applies to all people, not just American citizens or those who have immigrated legally.
However, Meza-Rodriguez isn’t out of the clear yet: despite the Second Amendment applying to illegal immigrants, the court also held that the federal government is allowed to prevent people who have broken the law from owning guns–as it does with convicted felons. Meza-Rodriguez’s conviction was not overturned by the decision.
This issue has the ability to galvanize both sides of the aisle. Is this a victory for the Left, giving them a critical step forward for the so-called rights of illegal aliens? Or is this a victory for the Right, protecting Second Amendment rights for even more people? Time will tell.