RALEIGH, N.C. (CN) - A legal immigrant sued a North Carolina sheriff, claiming a state law that bars noncitizens from getting concealed-carry gun permits is unconstitutional.
Felicity M. Todd Veasey, a native of Australia, sued Granville County Sheriff Brindell B. Wilkins Jr., challenging a state "prohibition on otherwise qualified non-U.S. citizens who legally reside in North Carolina from obtaining a concealed carry permit."
She says the state law violates the Second and 14th Amendments.
Veasey is an Australian citizen with a permanent U.S. visa. She worked at the Australian Embassy in Washington, D.C. and now works in IT and tech in North Carolina, according to the federal complaint.
Under state law, Veasey and other legally resident noncitizens can carry a concealed firearm only on their own property, and are not allowed to obtain a concealed carry permit, the complaint states.
Veasey apparently asked anyway but the Granville County Sheriff's Office confirmed in October 2012 that she was ineligible for a concealed carry permit.
"She was told not to bother applying because her application would be denied on the basis of citizenship and the money for the application fee would be wasted," according to the complaint.
Veasey and the co-plaintiff Second Amendment Foundation, of which she is a member, say the North Carolina law violates the Constitution.
"Plaintiffs seek to establish that the recognition and incorporation of the Second Amendment, and the Fourteenth Amendment's equal protection clause, renders the state's ban on non-citizens obtaining a concealed carry license unconstitutional," the complaint states. "As the plaintiffs only seek to be treated the same as law-abiding citizens, the Second and Fourteenth Amendments render a ban such as that challenged in this action impermissible."
The foundation is a nonprofit gun rights organization based in Washington state whose 650,000 supporters nationwide "includes lawfully admitted aliens residing in North Carolina," according to the complaint.
Veasey seeks declaratory judgment, preliminary and permanent injunctions and attorney's fees. She is represented by Camden Webb of Williams Mullen in Raleigh.