Supreme Court upholds gun law protecting domestic abusers: Advocates speak

Gun Rights

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — On Friday, June 21, the Supreme Court ruled that people under protective orders are banned from owning firearms. Local domestic violence advocates are praising the court’s decision.

“It provides an added level of safety for our survivors. Survivors can be, a lot of people assume it’s just women, but it can be men as well. It’s men, women and children,” said Executive Director for Metro Centers for Community Advocacy Darlene Santana.

This comes after a Texas man under a protective order challenged the federal law, arguing his weapons could not be taken away as it would violate his Second Amendment right.

One advocate explains firearms are the most common weapon used in domestic homicides.

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“We are consistently in the top five of homicides for domestic violence. And to have when the restraining order goes into place, they have to do the acknowledgments and then also it prevents them from buying a gun if they try legally,” said Program Director for Metro Centers for Community Advocacy Rebecca Rainey.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas was the only one to dissent, but advocates are not surprised knowing others may also feel the same way.

“There are some people who feel everybody should have a gun. We also have to protect the rights of victims and the people who are being threatened on a daily basis with guns. Or come home to find the guns laid out on the tables and the bullets being lined up,” said Rainey.

Advocates say this is a win, but more changes are needed to protect domestic violence survivors like higher bond amounts. Making sure the law is enforced is another thing, adding it also protects officers.

“When these abusers don’t have guns, everybody is safer. A lot of police officers are shot because they go into domestic violence cases or domestic violence calls,” said Santana.

Councilmembers Helena Moreno and JP Morrell commend the Supreme Court decision protecting domestic violence survivors.

“Councilmember Morrell and I fought for landmark protections for domestic violence survivors, including disarming aggressors through gun confiscation,” said Moreno. “This ruling affirms and endorses that work and I’m thankful for survivors here and across the country that the Court ruled in their favor. We know this will save lives.”

“In 2014, we had to fight tooth and nail against powerful special interest groups like the NRA to secure these protections for domestic violence survivors,” said Morrell. “Our bill passed in a majority Republican legislature with the tremendous help of advocates because common sense gun laws are a bipartisan issue. Today’s SCOTUS decision in Rahimi is a huge win because lives will be saved by this ruling.”

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