(Courthouse News) The Second Amendment right to bear arms does not extend to people who are in the United States illegally, the 4th Circuit ruled.

While searching the Orangeburg, S.C., home of Mexican national Nicolas Carpio-Leon, immigration agents found a .22 caliber Marlin rifle, a 9 mm Hi-Point pistol and ammunition. Carpio-Leon, who had lived in Orangeburg for 13 years and had three American-born children, claimed that he kept the firearms for the protection of his home and his children. He admitted he was in the United States illegally, and had used a false Social Security number to get a driver’s license.

Prosecutors indicted Carpio-Leon in 2011 for possessing firearms while being illegally in the United States and for entering the country illegally.

A federal judge refused to dismiss the charges, and rejected Carpio-Leon’s argument that the U.S. government had violated his constitutional rights.

Carpio-Leon then pleaded guilty to the charges, but he retained the right to appeal his constitutional arguments.

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