The Supreme Court upholds a gun control law intended to protect domestic violence victims

By MARK SHERMAN | Associated Press

WASHINGTON  — The Supreme Court on Friday upheld a federal gun control law that is intended to protect victims of domestic violence.

In their first Second Amendment case since they expanded gun rights in 2022, the justices ruled 8-1 in favor of a 1994 ban on firearms for people under restraining orders to stay away from their spouses or partners. The justices reversed a ruling from the federal appeals court in New Orleans that had struck down the law.

Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the court, said the law uses “common sense” and applies only “after a judge determines that an individual poses a credible threat” of physical violence.

Justice Clarence Thomas, the author of the major 2022 Bruen ruling in a New York case, dissented.

Last week, the court overturned a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, the rapid-fire gun accessories used in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. The court ruled that the Justice Department exceeded its authority in imposing that ban.

Friday’s case stemmed directly from the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision in June 2022. A Texas man, Zackey Rahimi, was accused of hitting his girlfriend during an argument in a parking lot and later threatening to shoot her.

At arguments in November, some justices voiced concern that a ruling for Rahimi could also jeopardize the background check system that the Biden administration said has stopped more than 75,000 gun sales in the past 25 years based on domestic violence protective orders.