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Thread: SAF, NRA SUE WASHINGTON STATE FOR DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ALIEN RESIDENTS!

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    NEWS RELEASE
    SAF, NRA SUE WASHINGTON STATE FOR DISCRIMINATING AGAINST ALIEN RESIDENTS
    BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation, joined by the National Rifle Association, today filed a lawsuit in federal court against the State of Washington, seeking to overturn a state law that discriminates against legal resident aliens who own firearms by violating their Second Amendment rights under the equal protections affirmed by the 14th Amendment.

    The SAF/NRA suit is joined by three legal resident aliens who face loss of jobs and firearms collections, and possible prosecution for owning a gun for self-defense when their current Alien Firearms Licenses (AFL) expire. Under a statute unique to Washington State, aliens must possess an AFL to legally possess firearms.

    Also named in the lawsuit are Liz Luce, director of the State Department of Licensing and Paul D. Ayers, chief of police in Issaquah, WA where two of the resident plaintiffs live. Ayers is a defendant for not issuing concealed pistol licenses (CPL) to plaintiffs Roelof Kroes, a South African national, and Adrian Coombes, a British citizen. The other plaintiff is Philip Grady, also a British national and a resident of Everett.

    “Gun rights activists have been trying for three years to work with the Democrat-controlled State Legislature to repeal this discriminatory statute,” said SAF founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “State lawmakers have ignored those efforts, leaving SAF and NRA, and our fellow plaintiffs, no other recourse except the federal court.”

    The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington. Seattle attorney Carl J. Carlson and Fairfax, VA attorney Stephen Halbrook represent the plaintiffs.

    “Mr. Coombes is employed at a gun shop in Bellevue, and he stands to lose his job and his personal firearms when his current AFL expires in February 2009,” Gottlieb stated. “Mr. Kroes moved to Issaquah in 2005 and was able to secure an AFL and CPL, but that is no longer possible because, while the FBI does background checks for gun purchases and CPL applications, it will not share that information with the state licensing department, which issues the AFL. It’s a ‘Catch-22’ that threatens the civil rights of alien residents whose only crime has been to choose living in the United States.

    “Forty-nine other states feel no compulsion to require such alien licenses,” Gottlieb stated. “Washington State should be no different. This discriminatory law must not be allowed to stand.”

    -END-

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    I dont get it? Their not citizens? If not i dont care about their "Rights".

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    Sea_Chicken wrote:
    I don't get it. They're not citizens. If they are not, I don't care about their "Rights".
    So resident aliens don't have God given inalienable basic human rights recognized in our Constitution and common law? The right to vote is clearly one of citizenship but the rights to be free from unreasonable searches, to worship freely,fair trial, and to self defense (2A) etc is notand extends to all persons within the United States.

    Can I enslave a resident alien? or two? I really don't want to work for a living. :P

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    Sea_Chicken wrote:
    I dont get it? Their not citizens? If not i dont care about their "Rights".
    I am about as anti-illegal immigration as you can get, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but neither the WA. State or US Constitutions contain any citizenship requirement requirements in regards to the applicability of the rights they protect.

    If they have followed the rules and are in this country legally, as I am sure they are, then they are entitled to the same rights and protections as citizens are. Even if they are in this country illegally they are afforded certain protections. The Bill of Rights recognizes pre-existing rights for ALL people in this country, it is not a list of "benefits" for being an American.

    SAF and NRA don't file these suits for profit or pay outs, they file after exhausting other means to make changes that protect ALL gun owner's rights. If an agreement can be reached to make the changes, they generally drop the lawsuit.

    I certainly hope SAF and the NRA win this one. As a US and WA citizen, my input to our lawmakers would be to do the right thing and pass the necessary legislation to change the law. It would very likely be the smart thing to do as well instead of wasting tax dollars fighting it and then having to pay damages on top of changing the law anyway after losing a court battle.

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    Sea_Chicken wrote:
    I dont get it? Their not citizens? If not i dont care about their "Rights".
    The law says otherwise. So you don't respect our combat vets just because they are resident aliens?

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    I'm okay with it as long as they are here legally. Otherwise, not so tolerant. document.write('[img]/images/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]');[img]images/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]

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    Washington is the only state with this stupid alien firearms license requirement, and it is nutty.
    Illegal aliens arm themselves all the time. The three plaintiffs in this case, and scores of other LEGAL resident aliens are the ones getting stuck with this.

    It violates the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.

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    911Boss wrote:
    I am about as anti-illegal immigration as you can get, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but neither the WA. State or US Constitutions contain any citizenship requirement requirements in regards to the applicability of the rights they protect.
    Actually, you're wrong. The WA State Constitution does indicate only citizens have the right to bear arms:

    SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

    You'll notice is says "citizen" at the sixth word.

    But, at the same time, there isn't anything in the US Constitution specifying whether you have to be a US-citizen to have these rights... also, it doesn't specify "God-given" rights, since those can be argued away from those that don't believe in God. That's why they put "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" in the Declaration of Independence... referring to "Creator" because we are all created in some way or another... we're all here, unless you're a nihilist. :P
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
    KF7GEA

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    Well, that's true, just a car, but this case really isn't about Article 1, Section 24, it's about the equal protection under the 14th amendment.

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    just_a_car wrote:
    911Boss wrote:
    I am about as anti-illegal immigration as you can get, and you are certainly entitled to your opinion, but neither the WA. State or US Constitutions contain any citizenship requirement requirements in regards to the applicability of the rights they protect.
    Actually, you're wrong. The WA State Constitution does indicate only citizens have the right to bear arms:

    SECTION 24 RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS. The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men.

    You'll notice is says "citizen" at the sixth word.

    But, at the same time, there isn't anything in the US Constitution specifying whether you have to be a US-citizen to have these rights... also, it doesn't specify "God-given" rights, since those can be argued away from those that don't believe in God. That's why they put "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights" in the Declaration of Independence... referring to "Creator" because we are all created in some way or another... we're all here, unless you're a nihilist. :P
    I stand corrected, it does specify "citizen" in the State Constitution.

    It could be argued though that "individual citizen" is wording meant to denote an individual and not requiring actual citizenship. Other recognized meanings of "citizen" include an inhabitant or a person not in the military.

    It is moot though as being brought under Federal Court and as a US Constitutional matter.

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    Dave Workman wrote:
    Washington is the only state with this stupid alien firearms license requirement, and it is nutty.
    Illegal aliens arm themselves all the time. The three plaintiffs in this case, and scores of other LEGAL resident aliens are the ones getting stuck with this.

    It violates the 14th Amendment equal protection clause.
    I am personally really happy that SAF and NRA teamed up on this one ( and already sent the release to the ACLU and other groups) - just to add to Dave's note above, the suit is on behalf of "resident aliens," not even all legal aliens, but the ones granted the permanent right to live and wrok in the United STates, and fight and die in our armed forces.

    There are a couple of states which bar some kind of gun right to permament aliens, like concealed handgun permits, but like a federal court recently did in Kentucky, these bans can be struck down too and the lawyers who bring the actions can get paid their fees if they prevail per 42 USC 1983/1988.

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    Sea_Chicken wrote:
    I dont get it? Their not citizens? If not i dont care about their "Rights".
    Realize that by denying their rights you weaken your own.

    While it might turn the legal system on its headto extend every variation of every right to every alien, I think we can afford to recognize this right for these people to this extent.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    911Boss wrote:
    As a US and WA citizen, my input to our lawmakers would be to do the right thing and pass the necessary legislation to change the law.
    My concern is that given the current climate and the extent to which the antis will be emboldened, "our lawmakers" may take the opportunity to do a little more fiddling with the current set of state laws. If that happens, it's unlikely to turn out the way we'd like it to.

    I think this is an ill-advised time for such a lawsuit.

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    tai4de2 wrote:
    911Boss wrote:
    As a US and WA citizen, my input to our lawmakers would be to do the right thing and pass the necessary legislation to change the law.
    My concern is that given the current climate and the extent to which the antis will be emboldened, "our lawmakers" may take the opportunity to do a little more fiddling with the current set of state laws. If that happens, it's unlikely to turn out the way we'd like it to.

    I think this is an ill-advised time for such a lawsuit.
    Well, when would be a "good time?"

    The plaintiffs, who have committed no crime, and who would enjoy firearm ownership unencumbered of this alien license if they lived in any other state, are running out of time. Their licenses are expiring. One works at Wade's in Bellevue. Another has a gun collection. There are other alien residents who face the same problems, but they are not plaintiffs in this lawsuit.

    Just when would be a good time to stick up for them? A year after the guy at Wade's loses his job? Maybe a month after one of these people, or another law-abiding resident alien gets popped for having a firearm he acquired legally when his alien license was valid?

    My guess is that the legislature is going to try monkeying with our gun laws anyway. Nickels, emboldened by yesterday's vote results, will tromp down to Oly to erode state preemption.

    It will be up to all of you working together to stop him.

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    If they are legal residents of this country, yes they should be able to own and operate firearms should their state constitution allow it.

    Now... Illegal residents... Are not here legally, probably don't pay into the tax system
    (other than sales tax on things they buy) and should be deported.
    Gun control isn't about guns -- it is about control.

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    demnogis wrote:
    If they are legal residents of this country, yes they should be able to own and operate firearms should their state constitution allow it.

    Now... Illegal residents... Are not here legally, probably don't pay into the tax system
    (other than sales tax on things they buy) and should be deported.
    Well, neither SAF nor NRA defends illegal aliens in court!

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    demnogis wrote:
    If they are legal residents of this country, yes they should be able to own and operate firearms should their state constitution allow it.

    Now... Illegal residents... Are not here legally, probably don't pay into the tax system
    (other than sales tax on things they buy) and should be deported.
    The plaintiffs are legal permanent residents, green card holders if you will. This is one step removed from citizenship, and often a state in which immigrants remain for years due to the backlog of processing naturalization applications.



    The problem is, the state constitution only expressly applies to citizens. However, under the federal constitution, the equal protection of the law applies to all persons. Also, the feds have decided that permanent residents have gun rights, and the state of WA has no business weighing in on the matter. Federal law trumps.

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    olypendrew wrote:
    The problem is, the state constitution only expressly applies to citizens. However, under the federal constitution, the equal protection of the law applies to all persons. Also, the feds have decided that permanent residents have gun rights, and the state of WA has no business weighing in on the matter. Federal law trumps.
    Are you sure what the word "citizen" has been construed to mean in the WA constitution?

    1. United States citizens?

    2. Washington citizens?

    3. Members of the public in good standing?

    The fed. const. article IV privleges and immunities clause would invalidate number 2.

    The fed. const. amend. XIV invalidates number 1.

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    Apart from the question of the legality of this licensing scheme... I don't get this refusal to share information on the part of the FBI with regard to this licensing requirement. If this is concerning a renewal, then how did this person get OKed for this license in the first place?

    -ljp

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    Legba wrote:
    Apart from the question of the legality of this licensing scheme... I don't get this refusal to share information on the part of the FBI with regard to this licensing requirement. If this is concerning a renewal, then how did this person get OKed for this license in the first place?

    -ljp
    They used to share the information, then they stopped.

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    Mike wrote:
    olypendrew wrote:
    The problem is, the state constitution only expressly applies to citizens. However, under the federal constitution, the equal protection of the law applies to all persons. Also, the feds have decided that permanent residents have gun rights, and the state of WA has no business weighing in on the matter. Federal law trumps.
    Are you sure what the word "citizen" has been construed to mean in the WA constitution?

    1. United States citizens?

    2. Washington citizens?

    3. Members of the public in good standing?

    The fed. const. article IV privleges and immunities clause would invalidate number 2.

    The fed. const. amend. XIV invalidates number 1.
    All I know is that the law is enforced against non-citizens of the US, including permanent residents. They are being charged with the felony, and they are being denied carry licenses.

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    olypendrew wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    olypendrew wrote:
    The problem is, the state constitution only expressly applies to citizens. However, under the federal constitution, the equal protection of the law applies to all persons. Also, the feds have decided that permanent residents have gun rights, and the state of WA has no business weighing in on the matter. Federal law trumps.
    Are you sure what the word "citizen" has been construed to mean in the WA constitution?

    1. United States citizens?

    2. Washington citizens?

    3. Members of the public in good standing?

    The fed. const. article IV privleges and immunities clause would invalidate number 2.

    The fed. const. amend. XIV invalidates number 1.
    All I know is that the law is enforced against non-citizens of the US, including permanent residents. They are being charged with the felony, and they are being denied carry licenses.
    OK, but that is a statute the aliens are violating, not the constitution- and that statute is the target of the suit.

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    Sea_Chicken wrote:
    I dont get it? Their not citizens? If not i dont care about their "Rights".
    Our rights come from our "creator", not from being part of club citizen. If rights are restricted to citizenship, then they are not rights, they are only present upon membership within a certain group.

    Some of my closest friends are resident aliens and a couple are even non-immigrant aliens. They seem to conduct themselves better than some "citizens" who under WA law would have no problem buying a gun.

    That being said, about many American citizens, many people in the United States should not be citizens.... I'd say about 52 % of the population... because they don't deserve it and they are ruining freedom for the rest of us.

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    Mike wrote:
    olypendrew wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    olypendrew wrote:
    The problem is, the state constitution only expressly applies to citizens. However, under the federal constitution, the equal protection of the law applies to all persons. Also, the feds have decided that permanent residents have gun rights, and the state of WA has no business weighing in on the matter. Federal law trumps.
    Are you sure what the word "citizen" has been construed to mean in the WA constitution?

    1. United States citizens?

    2. Washington citizens?

    3. Members of the public in good standing?

    The fed. const. article IV privleges and immunities clause would invalidate number 2.

    The fed. const. amend. XIV invalidates number 1.
    All I know is that the law is enforced against non-citizens of the US, including permanent residents. They are being charged with the felony, and they are being denied carry licenses.
    OK, but that is a statute they are violating, not the constitution- and that statute is the target of the suit.
    The complaint, in its current form, does not allege any violations of the state constitution.I assume Halbrook et al looked into this beofre filing it.

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    olypendrew wrote:
    The complaint, in its current form, does not allege any violations of the state constitution.I assume Halbrook et al looked into this beofre filing it.
    OK, why would anyone sue for violation of the state constitution, even if this could be done in federal court, which it cannot.

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