The Supreme Court is considering a case that once again tests the limits of gun rights


Washington (AFP) – supreme court It challenges a federal law that prohibits people from possessing guns if they are subject to a court order to stay away from their spouses, partners or other family members. The justices will hear arguments Tuesday in their first case on weapons since then Last year’s decision Which raised questions about many gun control laws.

The federal appeals court in New Orleans struck down the law after the Supreme Court’s Bruin decision in June 2022. This Supreme Court ruling not only expanded Americans’ rights to bear arms under the Constitution, but also changed the way courts are supposed to evaluate gun restrictions. Firearms. .

Judge Clarence Thomas’ opinion Because the court struck down the balancing test that justices have long used to decide whether gun laws are constitutional. Instead of considering whether the law promotes public safety, judges should only consider whether it fits with the country’s history of gun regulation, Thomas wrote.

Bruin’s decision led to a lower court Dropping judgments More than ten laws. These include age restrictions, a ban on homemade “ghost guns,” and a ban on gun ownership for people convicted of nonviolent crimes or illegal drug use.

The court’s decision in the new case could have wide-ranging effects, including on prominent figures Hunter Biden trial. The president’s son was accused of purchasing a firearm while addicted to drugs, but his lawyers indicated that they would appeal the indictment as invalid after Bruin’s decision.

The outcome will likely come down to the votes of Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. They were part of the six-justice conservative majority in Berwyn, but Kavanaugh wrote separately, joined by Roberts, to assert that not every gun restriction is unconstitutional.

The case before the court concerned Zaki Rahimi, who lived near Fort Worth, Texas. Rahimi hit his girlfriend during an argument in a parking lot, then shot a witness in December 2019, according to court papers. Later, Rahimi called his girlfriend and threatened to shoot her if she told anyone about the assault, the Justice Department wrote in a Supreme Court filing.

The girlfriend obtained a protective order against him in Tarrant County in February 2020.

Eleven months later, Rahimi was a suspect in additional shootings when police searched his apartment and found weapons. He eventually pleaded guilty to violating federal law. The Court of Appeal overturned this conviction when it invalidated the law. The Supreme Court agreed to hear the Biden administration’s appeal.

Rahimi remains imprisoned in Texas, where he faces other criminal charges. In a letter he wrote from prison last summer, after the Supreme Court agreed to hear his case, Rahimi said he would “stay away from all firearms” once he was released. The New York Times was the first to report the existence of the letter.

Weapons were used in 57% of homicides of spouses, intimate partners, children or relatives in 2020, according to data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seventy women a month, on average, are shot by their intimate partners, according to the gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety.

A decision in United States v. Rahimi, 22-915, is expected by early summer.


Associated Press writer Lindsay Whitehurst contributed to this report.

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