Supreme Court to hear Second Amendment domestic abuse case later this year

 July 1, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding whether a federal rule banning those accused of domestic abuse from owning firearms violates the Second Amendment.

Zachey Rahimi appealed his conviction on gun charges in light of the New York Rifle & Pistol Assn. V. Bruen ruling last year, which his legal team says means the Biden-era rule also violates the Second Amendment.

Rahimi was found to have been involved in five shootings while under a restraining order for abusing his girlfriend, and the Biden rule prohibits anyone who has a restraining order against them from possessing a firearm.

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals already overturned the case on other grounds and reversed Rahimi's conviction and sentence, but it was sent to the Supreme Court for review by the prosecutors.

Historic traditions

The New York Rifle ruling in part said that gun regulations should be "consistent with this nation's historical tradition of firearm regulation."

The interpretation of this part of the ruling, written by Justice Clarence Thomas, has caused confusion in the courts since he made it.

Domestic violence is one area where confusion has been greatest, because of the lack of legal precedent at the time of the nation's founding regarding gun laws for domestic abusers.

The Rahimi case will be the first test of the Bruen ruling and could be a precedent for future cases.

The old debate

Conservatives would argue that the kinds of restrictions the Biden administration and others have placed on private gun ownership all violate the Second Amendment, including background checks and other types of tracking who has guns.

Restrictions on what kinds of guns can be owned and how many rounds clips can have are also seen as violations of the Second Amendment by conservatives.

When those on the left try to argue that semi-automatics and magazine clips that can fire multiple rounds at once didn't exist at the nation's founding and that the founding fathers might not have approved, the right answers that the Second Amendment was about being able to defend against the powers of the government.

If governments have semi-automatics and worse, private citizens should also be able to have them.


It's a fundamental difference: the left sees society as safer if people don't own guns, especially dangerous people like domestic abusers who might use them to commit crimes.

On the other hand, the right acknowledges that criminals are not going to follow restrictive gun laws, and will be better able to victimize law-abiding people if they don't have guns. Where the Supreme Court will come down on this debate is still a mystery, but Bruen is a major clue.

" A free people [claim] their rights, as derived from the laws of nature."
Thomas Jefferson
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