June 21, 2024 Press Releases

Supreme Court Upholds Federal Law Prohibiting People Subject to Domestic Violence Restraining Orders from Possessing Firearms

SEATTLE, WA –  The Alliance For Gun Responsibility is pleased that domestic abusers will continue to be prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law, following today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court in United States v. Rahimi. Today the Supreme Court reversed a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that had held a decades-old federal statute prohibiting persons subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms violated the Second Amendment.

A Texas court placed Zackey Rahimi under a restraining order prohibiting him from possessing firearms after he viciously assaulted his then-girlfriend. He then violated that restraining order, not only by repeatedly contacting her—but by threatening a different woman with a gun and participating in at least five additional shootings. Charged under the federal statute with unlawful possession of a firearm, Rahimi argued that the statute violated his Second Amendment rights in light of the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen. Although the Fifth Circuit agreed with Rahimi, the U.S. Supreme Court today rejected his Second Amendment claim and affirmed his conviction in a decision by Chief Justice John Roberts, which was joined by seven other Justices.

In response to today’s important decision, Alliance for Gun Responsibility CEO, Renée Hopkins issued the following statement:

“Today’s decision is an important victory for survivors of domestic violence, their families, and indeed for everyone in our communities. Firearms are the most common weapons used in domestic violence homicides, and the mere presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation makes it five times as likely that a woman will be killed. While the Supreme Court has far too often ignored the pleas of victims and weakened efforts to enact gun-safety laws, today’s decision will save lives. 

Washington State continues to be a national leader in disarming abusers. The Regional Domestic Violence and Firearm Enforcement Unit, a collaboration between the City of Seattle and King County, remains the national model for a proactive, upstream, data-driven, public health approach to removing firearms from some of the deadliest circumstances.

I am relieved by the Court’s decision today, however this Court has also caused great harm in recent rulings. We must remain focused on doing everything we can to protect people from gun violence and keep firearms out of the hands of dangerous offenders.”

For further information or to arrange an interview with an Alliance for Gun Responsibility representative, please contact [email protected] or call (206) 909-7641.