BELLEVUE, WA (1/27/17) – The Second Amendment Foundation has scored another court victory, this time in Montana where a federal district court judge has entered a preliminary injunction against the state’s citizenship requirement in order to obtain a concealed carry license.
U.S. District Court Judge Donald W. Molloy at the district court in Missoula has also stayed the case because the Legislature is currently considering legislation that would repeal the citizenship requirement. The case is Knutson v. Curry.
SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb noted that this is just the foundation’s latest effort to secure protections for permanent legal resident aliens. The plaintiff in this case, Lenka Knutson, resides with her husband and two children in Whitefish. She is a citizen of Slovakia and a SAF member.
“We’re certainly happy with the judge’s ruling,” Gottlieb said, “and we’re gratified that the Montana Legislature is working to fix this problem. We’ve fought similar battles in Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, North Carolina and New Mexico on behalf of legal resident aliens.”
“This lawsuit is about the recognition that lawful resident aliens share the same Second Amendment rights as citizens,” attorney David G. Sigale noted. “We are very gratified that the Court has vindicated Ms. Knutson’s right to self-defense, and we are also glad the State is taking steps to correct a clearly discriminatory law.”
Under terms of the order, Judge Molloy also cancelled a scheduled Feb. 13 trial.
Lenka had gone to the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office in 2014 to apply for a concealed carry permit, even though she is not a U.S. citizen. The permit was denied because she is a permanent resident and not a citizen. The lawsuit followed, with representation by Sigale of Glen Ellyn, Illinois and Quentin M. Rhoades and Nicole L. Seifert of Missoula.
“The decision by Judge Molloy is one more example of SAF’s effort to win firearms freedom, one lawsuit at a time,” Gottlieb stated.
I think it is best to incrementally win nearly every small case rather than have a moderate or high risk of losing a big case. If enough precedent is established with the small cases the big cases will be easier to win.