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Where Does the Court Draw the Line?
June 26, 2024

In United States v. Rahimi, the Supreme Court upheld the government’s ability to take guns away from people who “pose a credible threat to the physical safety of another,” including domestic abusers subject to domestic violence restraining orders. Gun safety experts had anxiously anticipated this decision, as a contrary ruling could have jeopardized many laws restricting firearm access to “law-abiding” citizens. MPGV joined other gun violence and domestic violence prevention groups in an Amicus brief filed in August of last year.

Domestic violence is a major driver of gun-related violence in the United States. A woman is five times more likely to be murdered when her abuser has access to a gun. Each month, nearly 70 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner. In about 70 percent of mass shootings, the perpetrator either killed a family member or intimate partner or had a history of domestic violence.

While we celebrate the Court’s decision to uphold the Texas law barring the defendant/appellant from possessing a gun due to an order of protection against him, it is important to recognize that the current Court remains one of the most dangerous in our nation’s history. As highlighted in the Cargill decision, the Court’s tendency to remove life-saving regulations will undoubtedly cost lives. Thankfully, the scenario presented in Rahimi was a step too far for all except Justice Thomas, who vehemently dissented. 

This decision is a crucial victory in the ongoing battle to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous individuals and protect victims of domestic violence. However, the fight for sensible gun laws and the preservation of public safety continues.