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Friday, July 12, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Ex-Pat Can Challenge Law Blocking Access to Guns

WASHINGTON (CN) - A U.S. citizen can sue the attorney general because his Candian residency excludes him from buying a gun in America, the D.C. Circuit ruled.

Friday's ruling overturns the decision of a federal judge to dismiss the complaint filed by Stephen Dearth and the Second Amendment Foundation.

Dearth and the nonprofit dedicate to gun rights sued Attorney General Eric Holder for declaratory and injunctive relief over Federal Form 4473, which asks purchasers of firearms for their state of residence. Because Dearth, a U.S. citizen, lives in Canada, he could not legally complete the form and therefore could not buy a gun.

"We agree with Dearth that the Government has denied him the ability to purchase a firearm and he thereby suffers an ongoing injury," Judge Douglas Ginsburg wrote for the court's three-judge panel.

The court remanded the case back to District Court.

"This is a significant ruling in our favor," Second Amendment Foundation's executive vice president, Alan Gottlieb, said in a statement. "Many American citizens face the same dilemma as Mr. Dearth. They are good citizens, they've committed no crimes, and they would certainly be allowed to exercise their Second Amendment rights, except for the fact that they live in another country."

Alan Gura argued for Dearth and the nonprofit.

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