Lawsuit Challenges Kentucky Authority
Thursday, 19 July 2007
ACLU of Kentucky Sues to Protect Lawful Permanent Resident's Right to Carry Concealed Deadly Weapons
LOUISVILLE -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Kentucky filed a federal lawsuit yesterday challenging a Kentucky statute that prohibits lawful permanent residents from obtaining permits to carry concealed deadly weapons.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Alexander M. Say, a British national who has lived legally in Kentucky for 15 years. During that time, Say has bought several firearms and, according to the lawsuit, never had any problems with an FBI background check or approval process.
Before 2006, Kentucky law would have permitted Say to obtain a concealed carry license. But Kentucky's legislature amended the statutory requirements in 2006, adding that license applicants must be United States citizens. Say's lawsuit, filed in United States District Court for the Western District, challenges Kentucky's authority to impose that citizenship requirement.
"The federal government controls whether foreign citizens may live in the United States and on what terms," said Jack Harrison, an ACLU cooperating attorney handling Say's case. Because there are no federal laws that require United States citizenship as a prerequisite for an application for or the issuance of a license to purchase, carry, transport, or carry a concealed deadly weapon, "Kentucky's law discriminates against people who are lawful permanent residents," Harrison said.
The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring the Kentucky State Police and Jefferson County Sheriff --- the two entities that process and can approve Say's license application --- from enforcing the state's citizenship requirement.
While this story isn't all that recent, it is presumably still ongoing. The story is still on the front page of the Kentucky ACLU web page. I have sent an email to this chapter for the official status of this suit. Feel free to post any updates to this if you have the information.
I will watch this one closely for several reasons, most importantly because I have a good friend here in Kentucky who is an outstanding person, a foreigner who owns several guns, but can not get his concealed carry permit simply because he is not an American citizen. I hope for his sake, and the sake of all lawful permanent residents in this state, that the ACLU prevails with this suit.