The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in United States v. Huitron-Guizar on Monday, May 7, 2012.
The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s sentence. Petitioner entered a conditional guilty plea to being an illegal alien in possession of firearms transported or shipped in interstate commerce and was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment. Petitioner is to be delivered upon release to an immigration official for deportation. On appeal, he argues that the statute under which he was convicted is unconstitutional and that the district court committed various sentencing errors in applying the Sentencing Guidelines.
The Court disagreed. “[C]ourts must defer to Congress as it lawfully exercises its constitutional power to distinguish between citizens and non-citizens, or between lawful and unlawful aliens, and to ensure safety and order. On this record, § 922(g)(5) withstands [Petitioner]’s Second Amendment and Equal Protection challenges.” Additionally, the district court did not abuse its discretion when it did not apply variances to Petitioner’s sentence.