Supreme Court Upholds Law Banning Domestic Abusers From Owning Guns

Front entrance to United States Supreme Court building in Washington DC

Photo: Philip Rozenski / iStock Editorial / Getty Images

The Supreme Court upheld a federal law on Friday (June 21) that prohibits individuals under domestic violence restraining orders from owning firearms. The case, United States v. Rahimi, involved Zackey Rahimi, a Texas man who was placed under a restraining order after assaulting his girlfriend in 2019 and threatening to shoot her. Rahimi was later involved in five shootings, leading to his home being searched and his subsequent charge for violating the federal gun ban.

The law, enacted in 1994, has been challenged in light of the Supreme Court's 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, which struck down part of New York's handgun licensing law. However, during the oral arguments, the justices appeared receptive to Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar's argument that the prohibition fits within a long tradition of disarming people who are considered dangers to society.

"That principle is firmly grounded in the Second Amendment's history and tradition," Prelogar said. "Throughout our nation's history, legislatures have disarmed those who have committed serious criminal conduct or whose access to guns poses a danger.

The decision by the high court is expected to impact the scope of the Bruen ruling and how courts handle challenges to other federal restrictions, as well as similar state laws.

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