Flathead County resident Lenka Knutson is Slovakian, and although she doesn’t have U.S. Citizenship, she is hoping to get a concealed carry permit in Montana. Knutson is a legal resident and a green card holder, but back in June of 2014, she was denied the concealed carry permit under state law. Now, Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry is being sued for denying the license to Knutson, her attorney Quentin Rhoades explains why.

“The legal issue is whether a legal alien should be allowed to have a concealed weapons permit under Montana law,” said Rhoades. “Montana statute says you have to be a U.S. citizen in order to be eligible, but that conflicts with the U.S. constitutions equal protection clause. State shall not deprive privileges and immunities to any person within this jurisdiction.”

The case is in district court now, but could head to the 9th circuit court of appeals. Rhoades believes his client has a strong case.

“They can’t deprive a green card holder of privileges and immunities of a citizen of the United States,” Rhoades said. “Life, liberty, and property unless you make some sort of a finding that this person is not eligible for some other reason. Like if she is a felon or whatever the case might be, but our client is not. We have a very good argument that just because she is a green card holder that is no reason to deny her the right to have a concealed weapon.”

Montana isn’t the only state dealing with this interesting crossroads of weapons and immigration, at least three other states currently have similar cases and some states have already changed their state laws in reaction to the lawsuits.

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