JOHN JACKSON TAKES STAND, WINS NEW MEXICO CCW CASE
When John W. Jackson, a New Mexico resident and Australian citizen, sought the ability to carry a concealed handgun for his personal protection and discovered that under the state law he was disallowed because of his citizenship status, he took the state to court and won.
For a lot of people.
In a ruling issued by U.S. District Judge M. Christina Armijo, Jackson was granted a permanent injunction against the state’s enforcement of the “citizen only” concealed carry law that unfairly discriminated against permanent legal resident aliens. Attorney David Sigale, who represented Jackson in the case, told him via e-mail, “You have done a true service.”
“This is a victory not only for Mr. Jackson, but for all permanent legal resident aliens who are otherwise qualified to obtain a concealed handgun license,” noted Alan Gottlieb, chairman of the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
CCRKBA’s sister organization, the Second Amendment Foundation, brought the lawsuit on his behalf.
Jackson, a resident of Rio Rancho, a community located just north of Albuquerque, “has demonstrated that he is a productive member of the community and certainly did not give up any right to personal protection by moving from his country to our country,” Gottlieb said.
The ruling does not declare the state’s concealed carry law unconstitutional, but it does conclude that the remedy for violating the equal protection clause is to sever the citizenship provision from the statute. This can be done, Judge Armijo said, “without impairing the remainder” of the state’s concealed carry law, which still requires an applicant to meet all of the state’s remaining requirements.
After the victory, Gottlieb noted that “One of the more significant notations in the ruling was that the court found New Mexico’s statute discriminates on the basis of alienage, and as a result, was subject to strict scrutiny.”
With the exception of his Australian citizenship, Jackson met all the criteria for obtaining a carry license. Even the state conceded that he could enjoy the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, they just didn’t think that included the right to carry concealed.
For stepping up to the plate, Jackson has earned recognition as CCRKBA’s Gun Rights Defender of the Month.