Blackwell and Klukowski: Border Security, 2nd Amendment, Judges Examples of Winning GOP Platform Issues

Gun Rights

Laws banning illegal aliens from carrying guns violate the Second Amendment, according to an Obama-appointed judge, highlighting an opportunity for Republicans to use their party platform to show how correctly interpreting the Constitution puts gun rights and border security on the same side, and that the future of those issues hangs on the 2024 election.

Federal prosecutors charged Heriberto Carbajal-Flores under 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5), the federal law which makes it a crime for illegal aliens to have guns. But Judge Sharon Coleman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois said otherwise. She struck down that law, ruling in favor of Carbajal-Flores, and holding that Section 922(g)(5) violates the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

Coleman claimed to be following the Supreme Court’s landmark 2022 decision New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, where the court held that the only sorts of restrictions on firearms that the Second Amendment allows are those that were consistent with the right to keep and bear arms as voters understood that right in 1791, when the American people ratified the Second Amendment.

The Obama-appointed judge got it wrong. The Second Amendment guarantees a right for American citizens who are law-abiding and peaceable to possess and carry firearms. By definition, illegal aliens are not citizens, and they are not law-abiding. There were fugitives from justice in 1791, and police could disarm them. Police could also disarm those caught in criminal activity. Illegal aliens who are arrested for a crime are both.

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This court decision highlights multiple issues, all of which are important for Republican delegates in Milwaukee as the GOP Platform Committee gathers this week to write the 2024 Republican Platform.

First, border security is a top priority for American voters, and the Left is desperate to drive a wedge between the GOP base and other voters. The Left is gaslighting voters by claiming that the border bill Democrats suppported was a border-security measure instead of what it was: a border giveaway that would hamstring President Trump’s ability to fix the border should he retake the White House.

And with that false promise falling apart, leftists are desperate for anything that could make some Americans think twice about securing the border and dealing with the many millions of illegal aliens who are now here because of Biden. The Constitution is not an obstacle to securing the border.

Second – speaking of the Constitution – the Second Amendment continues to serve its constitutional role as an intergenerational insurance policy for freedom. Republicans must continue to stand strong on that right by advocating what that right protects – including the right for law-abiding citizens to possess and carry firearms in common use – while not falling for the false choices of the Left, such as saying that supporting the Second Amendment means giving guns to illegal aliens as they are evading law enforcement officers.

Third, Republicans must stand for judges who correctly apply the original public meaning of the Constitution. This federal judge in Illinois got it wrong, and it may eventually be up to the Supreme Court to get it right. From securing the border, deporting illegal aliens, to preserving the Second Amendment, Republicans must insist on Supreme Court justices who are courageous and unapologetic in their duties, ignoring opinion polls and elitist pundits.

Republicans must fully appreciate the moment in which America finds itself, where part of the current ruling party is controlled by authoritarian socialists who are pushing a radical transformation of the nation, attacking the foundations of America’s bedrock constitutional structure.

The Republican Party Platform has been – and must continue to be in 2024 – a rallying cry for all who love liberty, not just these three issues, but many additional issues besides. Giving all components of the Republican coalition something to lay hold of ensures that the GOP continues to be the home of conservative principles that have made the United States the greatest nation in world history.

America is still a center-right country. Most conservative issues – when properly framed and communicated – are issues supported by a majority of voters. When conservative policies are correctly grounded and defined, they reinforce and support each other, are essential to Republicans holding an edge in modern elections.

The Republican Party has a vitally important task ahead of it in Milwaukee, to set a principled stage from which President Trump can launch his general election campaign to regain the Oval Office.

Former U.S. Ambassador Ken Blackwell is on the board of directors of the National Rifle Association and chairman of the Conservative Action Project. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @kenblackwell.

Breitbart News senior legal contributor Ken Klukowski served in the White House and Justice Department. Follow him on X (formerly Twitter) @kenklukowski.

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