US Supreme Court to Rule on Gun Ownership for Domestic Violence Offenders in United States v Rahimi Case

The US Supreme Court has deliberated on a pivotal gun rights case, with significant implications for individuals under domestic violence restraining orders and their firearm ownership rights.

The core of the debate is centered around Zackey Rahimi, who, despite a questionable background that includes minor drug dealing and multiple firearms offenses, has become the focal point of this legal challenge. Rahimi, who once discharged a firearm in a fast-food restaurant over a declined credit card, is under scrutiny after a 2019 incident where he assaulted his partner and brandished a weapon.

Following this, Rahimi was subjected to a restraining order. According to a 1994 federal law, such individuals are barred from possessing firearms. However, Rahimi was later found with a rifle and a pistol during a police raid, leading to his indictment.

The Supreme Court’s recent expansion of gun rights in the New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen case has added complexity to Rahimi’s situation. This case required the government to demonstrate a historical basis for Second Amendment restrictions, a mandate some lower courts have found challenging.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals deemed the law preventing Rahimi from owning guns unconstitutional, a decision contested by the Biden administration. The administration, represented by Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar, highlighted the significant danger posed to women in domestic violence scenarios when the abuser has access to firearms.

Rahimi’s defense attorney, James Matthew Wright, countered that restricting gun ownership for those under restraining orders could become an indirect denial of constitutional rights. The Supreme Court’s debate largely revolved around historical precedents, with Justices expressing varying levels of skepticism and interest in the arguments presented.

Should Rahimi’s appeal be successful, it could lead to a reevaluation of numerous gun regulations, potentially aligning them more closely with historical interpretations and potentially expanding gun ownership rights in the United States. This possibility has drawn attention from gun rights proponents, like the National Rifle Association, which argues that the criteria for restraining orders are insufficiently stringent to justify stripping a constitutional right.

Outside the Supreme Court, protesters voiced their concerns, fearing the repercussions of a decision that could arm domestic abusers, and highlighted the personal stakes involved in the case.

Andre Weyne

Journalist specializing in Geo-Politics with a focus on international wars. Has a variety of sources of information about celebrities.

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