Does an illegal immigrant have the right to possess a firearm while living in the United States?

The short answer, protected under federal law, is no. Illegal immigrants have no right to possess firearms and are not covered by the second amendment. However, recently that law came under attack in the case of an illegal immigrant who was arrested in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Mariano Meza-Rodriguez is an illegal immigrant who moved to the United States at the age of four with his parents. He grew up in Wisconsin and attended a public school but was still an illegal immigrant. It's that issue which is the sticking point for an appeal by Meza-Rodriguez in response to a federal charge of possessing a weapon as an illegal immigrant.

Meza-Rodriguez was involved in a bar fight in 2012, not his first brush with the law, and was found to be possessing a .22 caliber bullet. Witnesses say they saw a gun on him earlier in the evening.

Federal prosecutors moved to have him deported and never allowed back in the country, something legally permissible. Meza-Rodriguez and his lawyers, however, argued that he was protected by the 2nd Amendment which protects the right to bear arms.

That argument was upheld by the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of appeals as they described illegal immigrants as a valid part of "the people" who need to be allowed to possess guns. The 7th Circuit Court's ruling flies in the face of four other circuit courts which have ruled that illegals don't have gun rights. The inability to agree on the issue may send illegal immigrants' gun rights to the Supreme Court.

But the issue has no need to progress to the Supreme Court and to allow liberal justices the chance to influence policy. Illegal immigrants are not citizens. They are, by their own choice, living in a country which provides them certain opportunities, but doesn't mean they can walk around armed.

Illegal immigrants are uninvited guests in our country with motives which may or may not align with America's. To arm them would simply be illogical and against America's best interests.

h/t: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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