BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia against Attorney General Eric Holder, seeking an injunction against enforcement of a federal law that makes it impossible for American citizens who reside outside the United States to purchase firearms while they are in this country.
SAF is joined by two natural-born citizens, Maxwell Hodgkins and Stephen Dearth, who have been denied the opportunity to buy firearms because they do not currently reside in the United States. Hodgkins currently lives in the United Kingdom, and Dearth is a resident of Canada.
The lawsuit alleges that Holder, as attorney general, is enforcing unconstitutional laws that prevent citizens like Hodgkins and Dearth from exercising their Second Amendment rights. The complaint also asserts that enforcement of the federal gun laws that prevent such citizens from purchasing firearms when they visit the U.S. violates their right of equal protection under the Fifth Amendment. The plaintiffs are represented by Virginia attorney Alan Gura, who successfully argued the Heller case before the U.S. Supreme Court.
“This is what happens when anti-gunners rush to pass a restrictive gun law that ignores the constitutional rights of law-abiding American citizens who happen to be living abroad,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “Honest Americans who live in other countries for a variety of reasons should not be denied their Second or Fifth Amendment rights when they return to American soil. Hodgkins and Dearth, and many others just like them, are victims of anti-gun rights zeal.
“Such citizens have every right to obtain and own firearms for a variety of reasons, whether to hunt, or for personal protection, target shooting or competition,” he continued. “Hodgkins, Dearth and other non-resident citizens want to keep their firearms here for use when the come home. However, current federal law makes it impossible for them to exercise their rights like any other citizen. It is fundamentally wrong to penalize American citizens for living overseas.”