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Republicans say FOID should be void if illegal immigrants can possess guns

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(The Center Square) – Illinois House Republicans are both condemning and praising a recent federal judge ruling about illegal immigrants being able to carry firearms for protection.

Earlier this month, Northern District of Illinois federal Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman ruled in favor of Heriberto Carbajal-Flores, a foreign national in the u.S. illegally who was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm. She said the law violates the Second Amendment as applied in this one case.

“The Court finds that Carbajal-Flores’ criminal record, containing no improper use of a weapon, as well as the non-violent circumstances of his arrest do not support a finding that he poses a risk to public safety such that he cannot be trusted to use a weapon responsibly and should be deprived of his Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense,” the judge wrote. “Thus, this Court finds that, as applied to Carbajal-Flores, Section 922(g)(5) is unconstitutional.”

State Rep. Dan Caulkins, R-Decatur, questioned where local law enforcement, the Illinois Attorney General or gun control advocates were on this case. But Friday on the House Floor, he praised the decision, saying that standard means Illinois’ Firearm Owners ID card should be struck down.

“Why shouldn’t gun owners across the state cut up our FOID cards and be able to buy guns out of state with no worry,” Caulkins said. “If a person who is not legally in this state can have his constitutional rights, so can the rest of us.”

Illinois State Police confirm that in order to get a FOID card, one has to attest that they are “not an alien who is unlawfully present in the United States.”

State Rep. John Cabello agreed if the FOID card could be found null under such a ruling, that’s a good thing.

“But with this radical judge, we’ve got to make sure that we protect our citizens,” Cabello told The Center Square.

Cabello filed House Bill 5790 Friday that he said clarifies that illegal immigrants cannot become law enforcement and detain legal citizens.

Last year, legislators approved and the governor signed House Bill 3751. The law says someone “who is legally authorized under federal law to work in the United States and is authorized under federal law to obtain, carry, or purchase or otherwise possess a firearm, or who is an individual against whom immigration action has been deferred by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services under the federal Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) process and is authorized under federal law to obtain, carry, or purchase or otherwise possess a firearm.

Cabello supported the measure then. But Friday, he said his HB5790 clarifies things.

“We got a little nervous about what [the judge] might do next, so we filed a bill to make sure that cannot happen,” Cabello told The Center Square. “We cannot in any way shape or form have a non-citizen of the United States arrest citizens of the United States.”