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The Supreme Court Upholds Gun Restrictions for Domestic Abusers in Rahimi

The justices prioritized the safety of survivors of domestic abuse, but this ruling simply upholds the status quo.

We have some good news to share: The Supreme Court has prioritized the safety of survivors of domestic abuse.

Just this morning, in United States v. Rahimi, the Supreme Court upheld the federal law that prohibits people subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing guns. Even in a court filled with ultra-conservative justices, nearly every one of them agreed that the Second Amendment allows for commonsense gun laws.

The case centered around Zackey Rahimi, a man who was convicted of illegally possessing a gun while under a domestic violence protective order. He challenged his conviction, claiming that his Second Amendment rights trump public safety—but the Court ruled otherwise.

GIFFORDS has advocated for this outcome for the past year. GIFFORDS Law Center filed an amicus brief last fall urging the Supreme Court to protect survivors, and on the day of oral arguments, we hosted a rally on the steps of the Court urging the justices to prioritize public safety.

GIFFORDS Law Center’s executive director, Emma Brown, was on MSNBC in the moments following the decision: 

The Court’s decision in this case had the potential to threaten scores of other lifesaving gun laws, as well as the safety of women across the country. Women in the US are 21 times more likely to die from a gun than women in other high-income countries. An abuser’s access to a firearm makes it five times more likely that a woman will be killed, and nearly one million women alive today report being shot or shot at by an intimate partner. If the Court had struck down this law, these numbers would have surely increased.

Today, the justices prioritized the safety of survivors of domestic abuse—but this ruling simply upholds the status quo. Our decades-old domestic violence laws remain intact, but we still have a long way to go to protect women from gun violence. This fight isn’t over.


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