BELLEVUE, Wash., Nov. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Second Amendment Foundation has filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Arkansas on behalf of a legal resident alien, alleging that his right to keep and bear arms is being violated by a state law that prevents him from obtaining a concealed carry license.
The lawsuit, on behalf of Martin Pot (pronounced Poht), a citizen of the Netherlands, challenges the Arkansas statute because it "completely prohibits resident legal aliens from the concealed carry of guns, in public, for the purpose of self-defense. Named as a defendant in the case is Colonel Stan Witt, director of the Arkansas State Police.
"Mr. Pot is a law-abiding resident of Eureka Springs, and has been so since 1986," said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. "He is self-employed and is a productive member of the community, with an American-born wife and family. He came here almost 30 years ago, met and married his wife, and has many solid connections in his community."
SAF and Mr. Pot are represented by attorney David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Illinois.
"When I first spoke with Mr. Pot over the telephone, I was alarmed at the prospect of his being denied a fundamental constitutional civil right because of the discriminatory citizenship requirement that was added to the law," said SAF general counsel Miko Tempski. "He previously had a license, but under the revised statute, the state will not renew it."
Gottlieb noted that Pot is allowed to possess a firearm in Arkansas only in his home, on his property or – under certain circumstances – while on a "journey." However, state law prohibits him from obtaining a concealed carry permit because he is not a citizen.
"This is not the first time we have taken an action on behalf of a resident alien," Gottlieb said, "and we are very confident that this will be a successful case. We have faced similar successful challenges in Washington, New Mexico, Massachusetts and Nebraska."
SAF is seeking a declaration from the court that the citizenship requirement contained in Arkansas law is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment.
The Second Amendment Foundation (www.saf.org) is the nation's oldest and largest tax-exempt education, research, publishing and legal action group focusing on the Constitutional right and heritage to privately own and possess firearms. Founded in 1974, The Foundation has grown to more than 650,000 members and supporters and conducts many programs designed to better inform the public about the consequences of gun control.
SOURCE Second Amendment Foundation