“A SIGH OF RELIEF”

Gun safety groups called Friday’s ruling a legal victory that will help counter firearms violence. But they condemned actions by the 5th Circuit, perhaps the most conservative federal appeals court, that let the case get this far.

“As millions of domestic violence victims breathe a sigh of relief, it’s worth remembering who put them in jeopardy: extreme Trump-appointed judges on the 5th Circuit who sided with an abuser who wanted to keep his guns,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety, referring to Republican former President Donald Trump.

Rahimi’s lawyer declined to comment on the ruling.

In a May Reuters/Ipsos poll, 75 per cent of registered voters, including 84 per cent of Democrats and 70 per cent of Republicans, said that a person subject to a domestic violence restraining order should not be allowed to possess firearms.

In a nation bitterly divided over how to address firearms violence including frequent mass shootings, the Supreme Court often has taken an expansive view of the Second Amendment, broadening gun rights in landmark rulings in 2008, 2010 and 2022. The 2022 Bruen ruling recognized a constitutional right to carry a handgun in public for self-defence, striking down a New York state’s limits on carrying concealed handguns outside the home.

In another case, the Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling on June 14 declared unlawful a federal ban on “bump stock” devices that enable semiautomatic weapons to fire rapidly like machine guns.

The 5th Circuit last year set aside Rahimi’s conviction, concluding that although he was “hardly a model citizen” the 1994 law was an “outlier” that could not stand under the “historically tradition” standard the justices announced in Bruen.

Supporters of Rahimi have argued that judges too easily issue restraining orders in an unfair process that results in the deprivation of the constitutional gun rights of accused abusers.

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