BELLEVUE, WA — The Second Amendment Foundation today filed suit in federal district court in Nebraska against the City of Omaha, challenging the city’s prohibition against anyone who is not a United States citizen from registering a handgun.
SAF’s lawsuit, on behalf of Armando Pliego Gonzalez, a resident alien living in the city, is joined by the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association. They are represented by attorneys Bernie Glaser of Lincoln, and David Sigale of Glen Ellyn, IL. Defendants are the City of Omaha, Mayor Jim Suttle and Police Chief Alex Hayes.
Pliego, a member of both SAF and NFOA, has been admitted legally to this country as a resident alien for permanent residence. He was approved as a permanent resident in October 2008. His wife is also a lawful permanent resident, and the couple has four children.
“There are no federal laws requiring U.S. citizenship as a prerequisite for the issuance of a license to purchase, register, carry, transport or even legally conceal a firearm,” noted SAF Executive Vice President and founder Alan M. Gottlieb. “Yet the City of Omaha makes a distinction by prohibiting legal resident aliens from completing the legal requirements to purchase and own a handgun. This prohibition appears to be in conflict with the Second and Fourteenth Amendments, and with the Nebraska State Constitution.”
After his home was invaded and robbed in 2010, Pliego sought to arm himself to defend himself and his family. However, Omaha’s prohibition stands in the way. When he tried to register a handgun that he had legally purchased, the Omaha police denied the application.
“Mr. Pliego jumped through all the hoops, and yet was denied his right of personal protection because of a city municipal code,” Gottlieb stated. “The citizenship requirement in Omaha’s code is an unconstitutional denial of equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
“We’re asking the court for a declaration that the citizenship requirements contained in the Omaha code is unconstitutional,” he concluded.