The Supreme Court is set to confront a significant test of the Second Amendment. Here’s the full story.
Guns for Domestic Abusers
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will embark on a pivotal examination of the Second Amendment, as it hears arguments regarding the federal law that forbids gun possession for individuals under domestic-violence restraining orders.
This case has sparked discussions about the broader impact it may have on various pending gun law challenges in lower courts, raising questions about how far-reaching the Court’s decision may be.
Streets of Rage
Last summer, the Supreme Court expanded individual gun rights significantly in the case of NYSRPA v. Bruen.
In that ruling, the Court established an individual’s right to carry a handgun for self-defense outside the home, emphasizing that gun laws should align with the nation’s historical traditions of firearm regulation.
The Court swiftly struck down several federal and state restrictions following the Bruen decision, which was met with mixed reactions from gun control groups, who deemed it dangerous.
The case that will be heard on Tuesday arises from Zackey Rahimi’s challenge to his conviction under the 1994 federal crime bill’s prohibition on gun possession for people under domestic-violence restraining orders, invoking the Bruen precedent.
Let’s Get This Man a Gun
Rahimi faced a restraining order after assaulting his girlfriend and making threats to shoot her.
Subsequently, the police discovered a rifle and a pistol at Rahimi’s residence during an unrelated investigation, leading to his indictment on a gun charge.
The Biden administration’s Justice Department brought the case to the Supreme Court after losing at the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
They have criticized the lower court’s decision as “extraordinary” and “misguided,” raising concerns that it might enable more individuals with domestic abuse tendencies to possess firearms.
“More Women and Children Will Die”
As Douglas Letter, Chief Legal Officer at the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, expressed, “You’re gonna have a whole lot more people, who are a threat of domestic abuse, they will be able to have guns. And that’s really important because way more women and children will die if there are guns in the house, where there is domestic abuse.”
The National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups support overturning the statute.
While they acknowledge that Rahimi, who the 5th Circuit panel noted was “hardly a model citizen,” is a favorable defendant for the Biden administration, they assert that there is no historical precedent justifying the disarmament of violent domestic abusers.
Pleading to Their Better Judgement
On the opposing side, gun control advocates aim to curb the recent string of Second Amendment decisions made by the Supreme Court.
While recognizing that the Court is unlikely to reverse its course, they hope that the case featuring Zackey Rahimi will lead the conservative justices, particularly Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh, to consider the limits of the Court’s recent expansion.
Janet Carter, Senior Director of Issues and Appeals at Everytown Law, emphasized during a recent case briefing call, “If that is truly what Bruen meant, then there is a serious problem with Bruen.
Neither text, nor history nor tradition, let alone common sense, dictates that the government is forbidden to disarm people subject to protective orders.”
Both Douglas Letter and Janet Carter have filed friend-of-the-court briefs supporting the Biden administration.
Their organizations, along with others, are planning a rally outside the Supreme Court on the morning of the case.
The Supreme Court’s verdict in this case may reverberate across numerous Second Amendment cases awaiting resolution. The National Association of Gun Rights has urged the justices to use this case as an opportunity to reinforce their stance on the Second Amendment’s significance.
They stress the importance of conveying to lower court judges the importance of upholding the right to keep and bear arms as a fundamental right.
Guns for Drug Users
This may have a profound impact on other cases already on the Supreme Court’s docket, including the Biden administration’s appeal of a 5th Circuit decision that found a federal law, criminalizing gun possession for unlawful drug users, unconstitutional.
The Justice Department has suggested delaying a decision on this issue until after the Rahimi case is resolved.
Notably, this statute has also been applied to Hunter Biden, the President’s son, who has pled not guilty and hinted at a potential constitutional challenge.
Legal experts and advocates note that questions remain about the application of the Second Amendment in various contexts.
Clear guidance from the Court is needed, as several judges have expressed concerns and confusion surrounding the recent expansion of gun rights.
Online the news has predictably led to a firestorm of comments back and forth, even between 2nd amendment supporters.
One such user posted “Shall not be infringed upon. Seems pretty straightforward to me.”
However, others took a different approach. Another comment read “In the case of Rahimi I agree that he should not be allowed to be in possession of a firearm. I am an avid gun owner and I believe in our 2nd Amendment.”
The post Gun Rights vs. Family Safety – Concerns Over Second Amendment Protection and Potential Consequences first appeared on Edge Media.
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / Philip Yabut.
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