The Justice Department has petitioned the United States Supreme Court (USSC) to overturn United States vs. Rahimi. This recent and controversial court decision from the 5th Circuit allows individuals charged with Domestic Violence (DV) crimes to possess firearms. The Justice Department (DOJ) argues that the risk of homicide rises when there’s a gun in a house that has a domestic abuser. As a result, millions of Americans will be victims of intimate-partner abuse.
“And if allowed to stand, it would thwart Congress’s considered judgment that persons who have been found to be a threat to their intimate partners or children should not be permitted to acquire or possess firearms.” ~U.S. Department of Justice
The government filed the petition on an expedited schedule to allow the Supreme Court to determine whether it will take up the case.
THE 5TH CIRCUIT FEDERAL COURT OF APPEALS’ RULING IN U.S. V. RAHIMI.
In Rahimi, Fifth Circuit ruled that the federal prohibition on gun possession for people subject to DV restraining orders (DVROs) is unconstitutional under the Second Amendment. Rahimi pointed to the Supreme Court’s decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen. That case provided a legal framework for gun laws supporting the tradition and history of the Constitution’s Second Amendment.
The 5th Circuit found the government failed to show that the statute’s “restriction of the Second Amendment right fits within our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.”
THE DOJ’S RESPONSE TO U.S. V. RAHIMI.
The appellate court ruling caught the attention of the Justice Department early on. The government wrote in its petition that the 5th Circuit “overlooked the strong historical evidence supporting the general principle that the government may disarm dangerous individuals. The court instead analyzed each historical statute in isolation.”
In a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, witnesses said the Supreme Court decision in Bruen has wreaked havoc on the country’s gun control laws. At the committee hearing, Ruth M. Glenn with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence called attention to the 5th Circuit’s U.S. v. Rahimi.
“The lack of historical laws restricting firearms access by domestic abusers is not evidence that such laws are unconstitutional . . . Rather it is a reflection of the legally subordinate status and general disregard for the rights and needs of women in early America.” ~Ruth M. Glenn, National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Please contact my office if you, a friend or family member are charged with DV, Firearms Offenses or any other crime. Hiring an effective and competent defense attorney is the first and best step toward justice.