USA v. Ignacio Jimenez-Shilon, No. 20-13139 (11th Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Defendant was arrested and indicted under 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(5)(A), which prohibits an alien who "is illegally or unlawfully in the United States" from possessing a firearm. Defendant did not dispute that he possessed a firearm, but filed a motion to dismiss the indictment, claiming Section 922(g)(5)(A) violated his Second Amendment rights. The district court denied Defendant's motion, ultimately convicting him after a bench trial.
Defendant appealed, arguing that because he lived in the United State prior to his arrest, he was among "the people" protected by the Second Amendment. The Eleventh Circuit rejected Defendant's argument, holding that the Second Amendment does not apply to all citizens. Under District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Second Amendment confers the right to gun ownership to individuals, not collectively. Thus, certain groups of people are constitutionally deprived of the right to own or possess a gun. Based on the Eleventh Circuit's "'examination of a variety of legal and other sources' from the Founding era," aliens who are unlawfully present in the United States are among those who are constitutionally restricted from owning or possessing a firearm.