In NC, Judge Finds Permanent Resident Noncitizens May Carry Concealed

In late April, Law Shield was interested to see the result of Messmer v. Harrison, a federal district court case in North Carolina. Outcome: North Carolina may not discriminate against permanent resident noncitizens in issuing licenses to carry concealed guns.

Background: Plaintiff Kirsten Messmer filed suit against the Sheriff of Wake County, North Carolina; Governor Pat McCrory; Roy Cooper, the Attorney General; and Frank Perry, the Secretary of the Department of Public Safety. Ms. Messmer is a German citizen who is a legal permanent resident of the United States currently residing in Wake Country, North Carolina.

She alleged that a North Carolina General Statute that requires a person to demonstrate American citizenship prior to obtaining a concealed-carry permit violates the Second and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution.

From the decision: “No defendant has proffered a strong argument in support of limiting the concealed carry statute to citizens. No defendant objected to plaintiffs characterization in court that resident aliens are allowed to possess firearms on their premises and are even allowed to carry firearms openly in North Carolina. In fact, the Sheriff stated that he agreed with plaintiff that the law at issue in this case was unconstitutional.”

The preliminary injunction prevents the enforcement of the statute and any other NC law restricting lawfully admitted aliens’ firearms rights while the case proceeds. If the court makes a final decision in favor of Messmer, the injunction may become permanent. Seems straightforward on the legal reasoning. Gun rights advance in the Tarheel State.

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