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How guns and domestic violence intersect in U.S. vs. Rahimi

Washington  —  The United States Supreme Court is the court of last resort for those seeking justice. It rules on cases that impact American’s daily lives. One of those cases is the United States v. Rahimi

The facts: On November 7,  the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case, and decide if people under civil protective orders should lose access to their guns.

Background: Four years ago, Zackey Rahimi reportedly assaulted his former girlfriend and shot at a witness to the crime. Afterward, a court granted Rahimi’s ex a restraining order against him. Domestic orders are issued by state courts when they find that the person poses a potential threat of violence to a domestic partner. The order expressly prohibited Rahimi from owning firearms. But, according to law enforcement officials, he kept his guns. Months later Rahimi was involved in five shootings in the span of several weeks. A federal grand jury indicted Rahimi for violating a federal prohibition on having guns while under a domestic violence restraining order.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison.

Today: Rahimi is now arguing that taking his guns away because he’s under a domestic violence restraining order violates his constitutional right to bear arms.

Rahimi cites a 2022 U.S Supreme Court ruling that says there’s a presumption of second amendment protection and the government bears the burden of justifying regulations that would take this right away.

But domestic violence advocates say that restrictions tied to restraining orders are among the most powerful tools for protecting domestic violence victims and that without them, more women will die.

 

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