Federal court upholds ban on illegal aliens possessing guns
By Chris Eger
A three-judge panel unanimously on Tuesday stood behind federal gun laws that make it illegal for someone who is an illegal alien to possess a firearm.
The panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit upheld the conviction of Mexican national Victor Manuel Torres, 33, for possessing a firearm while “being an alien . . . illegally or unlawfully in the United States.” Long codified under federal law, those in the country illegally are prohibited firearms possessors, which Torres challenged on constitutional grounds. The judges, a mix of appointments from both Democrat and Republican administrations, were not moved by his argument.
“In sum, the government’s interests in controlling crime and ensuring public safety are promoted by keeping firearms out of the hands of unlawful aliens—who are subject to removal, are difficult to monitor due to an inherent incentive to falsify information and evade law enforcement, and have already shown they are unable or unwilling to conform their conduct to the laws of this country,” said Judge N.Randy Smith, for the majority. Smith, an appointment by President George W. Bush, was joined in the ruling by Judges Sidney R. Thomas and Sharon L. Gleason, who were appointed by Presidents Clinton and Obama, respectively.
Torres, who was