Author Topic: Legal Aliens Concealed Carry  (Read 687 times)

leeoconnor2522

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Legal Aliens Concealed Carry
« on: October 26, 2017, 07:23:52 PM »
So this is more of a FYI to be discussed than that of a question.

I am a Legal Alien with the right to work in the USA and Live and currently waiting for my interview for my Green card, So I only possess a I-766 authorization to work. I recently spoke to a Lawyer after I had already made my application for my CHL whom informed me I would not be eligible for my Concealed carry as I was not a Legal Permanent resident nor was I a citizen.

My Concealed Carry License arrived today...... 21 days after applying I was accepted and I now have my license in hand.

To be clear when I applied i submitted, I94 which was expired, my driving license, my passport, my certificate from the instructor, my I-766 and a letter from the Boarder patrol saying that I could not renew my I-94 as the USCIS would have issued me new evidence of my legal presence in the form of a I-766 (work visa) or I-551 (Green Card) and after many phone calls and explaining it to them they accepted it. But it was accepted.

TexasLawShield

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Re: Legal Aliens Concealed Carry
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 04:12:59 PM »
leeoconnor2522,

You’ve started an interesting discussion. This is a place where the actions of Texas DPS may not be strictly compliant with the state or federal law. While it’s great that you were issued your LTC, whether or not you were eligible poses an interesting question.

Texas Government Code § 411.172 lists the criteria for obtaining a Texas LTC. Among that criteria is that a person must be “fully qualified under applicable federal and state law to purchase a handgun.” An individual must be eligible to purchase a handgun in order to be eligible for a Texas LTC, and this is why Texas DPS usually will not grant an LTC to a nonimmigrant alien.

Federal law specifically prohibits individual who “ha[ve] been admitted to the United States under a nonimmigrant visa” from owning firearms under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5)(B). There are some exceptions to this rule. Notably, 18 U.S.C. 922(y)(2)(A) provides an exception for aliens who are “in possession of a hunting license or permit lawfully issued in the United States.” This exception allows a nonimmigrant alien who is legally in the United States and who has a valid hunting license to purchase firearms under federal law. If this is the case, that individual will be eligible to obtain a Texas LTC. Otherwise, a nonimmigrant alien is not eligible. The other exceptions to the prohibition on nonimmigrant aliens purchasing firearms apply solely to official representatives of foreign governments or foreign law enforcement officers.

As you can see, this is a complicated issue involving the interplay of state and federal laws. Since you were admitted under a work visa (I-766), you are technically a nonimmigrant alien until you are approved and receive your Green Card. But, if you fall into one of the exceptions under federal law—particularly the hunting license exception—you may still be eligible for your LTC. Once you are approved and receive Green Card status, you are no longer a nonimmigrant, and these disqualifications no longer apply.

If you choose to carry and do not fit into the exception we discussed, be careful. The penalty for possessing firearms as a nonimmigrant alien is 10 years imprisonment and/or a $250,000 fine. We understand that this intersection between immigration law and firearms law can be a bit tricky so feel free to reach out to our independent program attorneys with any additional questions or concerns that may arise.