Supreme Court reviews federal gun ban for domestic violence perpetrators
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments on a 30-year-old federal ban on firearms for people subject to domestic violence restraining orders.
the case, United States v. Rahimiis a successful test of widely popular gun safety regulation and the Second Amendment at a time when firearms are a major factor in intimate partner violence nationwide.
An estimated 12 million American adults are victims of domestic violence each year; On average, 70 people die each month from being shot by an intimate partner, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to a new report, women are five times more likely to die from domestic violence if a gun is involved Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions.
The justices are taking up the issue a year after a landmark decision made it more difficult for governments to restrict individual gun rights. Only laws that “consistent with the state’s historical tradition of regulating firearms” can be permitted, the Supreme Court ruling said.
“This is an opportunity for judges to clarify the test, especially as it applies to domestic abusers, and to the entire set of incredibly effective gun violence prevention laws,” said Kelly Roskam, director of law and policy at the Center on Gun Violence. Solution.
A 1994 federal law, the focus of the case, requires that thousands of domestic violence restraining orders issued each year by federal and state judges be reported to the National Background Check System. They, in turn, serve as a basis for refusing to sell firearms.
More than 77,000 attempted firearm purchases by alleged domestic violence perpetrators have been blocked since 1998, according to the FBI.
“We know that intimate partners don’t just kill their partners. We know that they do it with firearms and these laws prevent them from doing that,” Roskam said.
The gun ban is being challenged by Zaki Rahimi, a Texas drug dealer with a history of violence, who has been charged with illegally possessing weapons while under a protective order obtained by his girlfriend.
He argues in court documents that the law is not supported by American history and tradition. Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals approved the measure, calling the measure “an aberration…and something our ancestors would never have accepted.”
“This law actually ends up disarming a group of law-abiding people or good people that you might not expect when you first look at it,” said Aidan Johnston, a lobbyist for Gun Owners of America, which supports Rahimi. “We are fighting for the victims here who have been disarmed under mutual restraining orders.”
The Biden administration, which is defending the law, insists that the nation has a broad history and tradition of disarming people who are not “responsible, law-abiding citizens” — even if there is no historically accurate version of a law targeting domestic abusers.
“U.S. legislatures have long disarmed individuals they find dangerous, irresponsible, or unfit to possess weapons,” the government says in court documents.
While the Supreme Court’s six-justice conservative majority has generally taken an expansive view of the Second Amendment — and closely examined gun safety regulations — at least two justices have made clear they are wary of going too far.
“The Second Amendment, if properly interpreted, allows for a variety of gun regulations,” Justice Brett Kavanaugh pointedly noted in a concurring opinion with last year’s decision in 2018. New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruin.
Justice Amy Coney Barrett has also expressed clear support for gun restrictions on “dangerous persons,” writing as an appeals court judge that some restrictions are entirely constitutional.
A decision in Rahimi’s case is expected by the end of June 2024.
This article originally appeared on abcnews.go.com