Biden Admin Prepares To Fight Illegal Migrant Gun Ruling

( – In June 2022, The Supreme Court issued a landmark opinion in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, a case concerning the legal right of citizens to obtain and carry a firearm. The Bruen decision affected a recent ruling in a gun case against an illegal immigrant, resulting in the dismissal of his criminal case. Now, the Biden Administration is preparing to fight that ruling.

Judge Finds Portion of Federal Firearm Act Situationally Unconstitutional

Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman first heard arguments in USA v. Carbajal-Flores in April 2022 after police arrested Heriberto Carbajal-Flores in Chicago in June 2020. Carbajal-Flores, an undocumented immigrant living and working in the Little Village neighborhood, had purchased a gun for personal protection and to safeguard his belongings. After looters broke into a local store, neighbors, including the defendant, organized a watch to prevent more looting.

Carbajal-Flores subsequently fired seven shots at a car that sped toward a storefront before veering away at the last moment. Police responded and cited him for discharging a weapon.

In April 2022 and again in December 2022, attorneys for Carbajal-Flores argued for the dismissal of charges in light of the Supreme Court ruling on Bruen. However, Coleman didn’t find the arguments convincing in either motion. In March 2024, the defense counsel raised a renewed motion to dismiss, citing two cases from 2023: Range v. Garland from the Third Circuit Court and Atkinson v. Garland from the Seventh Circuit Court.

Both cases applied extensive tests proposed by Justice Clarence Thomas to determine whether a law was depriving a person or a group of their constitutional right to bear arms as intended by the Founders. In Carbajal-Flores’ specific case, Coleman held that 18 USC § 922(g)(5), the statute banning illegal immigrants from owning guns, violated his Second Amendment rights.

The DOJ Claps Back

Coleman based her ruling on prescribed SCOTUS tests and, in particular, the historical precedent of allowing some former British loyalists to carry firearms based on individual assessments. She tailored her opinion and her assessment specifically to Carbajal-Flores. However, the DOJ and many others anticipate a looming precedent that could change national security.

The federal government has historically disarmed “untrustworthy” individuals. The definition includes:

  • Non-citizens or those people who didn’t have a vested interest in US society
  • Criminals or those who threaten the social order because they refuse to adhere to laws
  • Clinically-diagnosed unstable individuals

The DOJ claims they must appeal the ruling or risk the federal government’s inability to maintain restrictions on firearms from restricted group members. Regardless of how the appellate court rules, legal pundits anticipate a final appeal to the Supreme Court.

Copyright 2024,