Supreme Court Upholds Gun-Control Law

Measure is designed to protect victims of domestic violence
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 21, 2024 9:47 AM CDT
Supreme Court Upholds Gun-Control Law
Supreme Court Police officers stand on duty outside of the Supreme Court building on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein)

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a federal gun-control law intended to protect victims of domestic violence, per the AP. In their first Second Amendment case since they expanded gun rights in 2022, the justices ruled in favor of a 1994 ban on firearms for people under restraining orders to stay away from their spouses or partners, per the AP. The justices, reversing a ruling from the federal appeals court in New Orleans, ruled that the Constitution allows authorities to bar people deemed dangerous from having guns, per the Washington Post. The decision was 8-1, with Clarence Thomas (author of the 2022 decision) the lone dissenter.

"An individual found by a court to pose a credible threat to the physical safety of another may be temporarily disarmed consistent with the Second Amendment," wrote Chief Justice John Roberts in the majority opinion. Friday's case stemmed directly from the Supreme Court's decision in June 2022, known as New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. In the new case, a Texas man, Zackey Rahimi, was accused of hitting his girlfriend during an argument in a parking lot and later threatening to shoot her.

Rahimi's case reached the Supreme Court after prosecutors appealed a ruling that threw out his conviction for possessing guns while subject to a restraining order. Rahimi was involved in five shootings over two months in and around Arlington, Texas. When police identified Rahimi as a suspect in the shootings and showed up at his home with a search warrant, he admitted having guns in the house and being subject to a domestic violence restraining order that prohibited gun possession.

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But even though Rahimi was hardly "a model citizen," wrote US Circuit Judge Cory Wilson in a lower-court ruling, the law at issue could not be justified by looking to history. That's the test Justice Clarence Thomas laid out in his opinion for the court in Bruen. (A related rift is emerging among conservatives on the court.)

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