New Mexico’s immigrant ruling to bolster gun rights cases

Judge: No greater danger from legals

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State rules on concealed-carry permits and noncitizens vary. A handful of them specifically rule out legal immigrants’ right to carry a weapon or place additional burdens on them for obtaining permits.

Gun rights groups used to be split on the issue.

The National Rifle Association in 2011 backed a challenge to a South Dakota law that treated citizens and noncitizens differently, while Gun Owners of America disagreed.

During that debate, Gun Owners of America Executive Director Larry Pratt told Fox News that states should have the right to decide who can carry concealed weapons.

“If the guy wants to enjoy the full benefit of residing in the United States, become a citizen. He’s been here for 30 years, what’s he waiting for?” Mr. Pratt told the website, adding that he suspected the American Civil Liberties Union was trying to carve out an opening for illegal immigrants to obtain concealed-weapons permits.

But by last year, the organization said it supported equal concealed-carry gun rights for legal immigrants.

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