Justice Department seeks Supreme Court expedited review of ruling banning guns for people under domestic violence restraining order


The Justice Department on Friday asked the Supreme Court to expedite consideration of a Recent Appellate Court Decisions It’s considered an unconstitutional federal law that prohibits those subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms.

“Possession of a firearm in the home by a domestic abuser increases the risk of homicide sixfold,” U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar wrote in her petition Friday, urging the high court to decide A decision on whether to hear the case is before the summer recess.

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit february says The 1996 law was unconstitutional, although the ruling applies only to Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi, advocates worry This will have wide-ranging implications, including that it will deter victims from coming forward.

The circuit court cited a major Second Amendment ruling passed by the Supreme Court’s conservative majority last year that created a new test for lower courts to analyze the constitutionality of gun control.

Prelogar told the Supreme Court on Friday that the Fifth Circuit’s reasoning was wrong and that the high court should hear the case so “it can correct the Fifth Circuit’s misunderstanding of Bruen,” referring to the Supreme Court Opinion Last Summer.

The high court’s majority opinion in June said part of the test is whether gun restrictions parallel what was enacted when the Constitution was created.

The Fifth Circuit said the ban on alleged abusers lacked that historical parallel and was therefore unconstitutional, based on its opinion earlier this year on domestic violence gun restrictions.

Prelogar wrote that if the Fifth Circuit’s “approach is applied across the board, few modern statutes would survive judicial scrutiny; after all, most modern gun statutes differ in at least some respects from their historical precedents.”

At the time of the circuit court’s ruling, Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement that Congress enacted gun laws “nearly 30 years ago” and said the department plans to appeal the ruling.

“The statute is constitutional both in terms of Supreme Court precedent and in terms of the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment. Accordingly, the Department will seek further review of the Fifth Circuit’s contrary decision, “He said.

Nearly two-thirds of intimate partner homicides are committed with firearms, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain. A 2021 Research Most mass shootings were also found to be related to domestic violence.

While some states under the appellate court have similar state law restrictions, the new ruling undermines an important tool for survivors to protect themselves from their abusers. Advocates say the consequences would be devastating if the U.S. Supreme Court adopted the logic of the Fifth Circuit nationwide.

“People are going to know that the abuser still has a gun. They’re going to continue to live in absolute, extreme fear,” said Heather Bellino, CEO of the Texas Advocacy Project, which works with victims of domestic violence cooperate. “They’re going to be afraid to get an order of protection because now that gun isn’t going away.”

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