The Gun Club

I've read this four times and still don't quite understand it: "A United States citizen who now lives in Great Britain has joined with the country's leading gun owner rights organization in a federal lawsuit that says nonresident citizens are unfairly being targeted by existing laws that restrict gun ownership to those who live in the U.S." OK, make that five times. Almost there...

Looks like Maxwell Hodgkins--a 31-year-old real estate broker from Dallas who now lives in England--filed a claim in federal court here on behalf of the Bellevue, Washington-based Second Amendment Foundation. Hodgkins--described in the SAF's release as "an avid gun collector and sportsman who legally owns and stores firearms in the U.S. and holds related permits for weapons possession and concealment"--is bringing the complaint because of U.S. regulations banning "the receipt, sale and purchase of firearms by U.S. citizens who claim legal residency outside the U.S."

In short, Max and the SAF want expatriates to be able to buy guns for "lawful self defense" when they're in this country. (Expats can get one for sporting purposes.) Hodgkins is claiming that he's having his Constitutional rights violated; guess he wants a gun whilst in the U.S. so nothing else gets violated during his stay? Seems like a lot of trouble to go to for a visit; me, I thought it was pain in the ass to get my mother-in-law an extra pillow. Shows what I know.

Maybe the most interesting thing about the claim: One of the attorneys who filed the complaint on Hodgkins' behalf is William B. Mateja, a principal in the Dallas and Washington, D.C., offices of Fish & Richardson. Mateja was senior counsel to the U.S. Deputy Attorney General under George W. Bush. --Robert Wilonsky

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