US Supreme Court upholds ban on domestic abusers owning guns

By AFP
June 22, 2024
Rev. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition, holds up a sign after US justices rejected a Second Amendment challenge to a federal law that makes it a crime for people subject to domestic violence restraining orders to possess a gun, outside the US Supreme Court in Washington, US, June 21, 2024. —Reuters

WASHINGTON: The US Supreme Court on Friday upheld a federal law prohibiting domestic abusers from possessing a firearm, the latest legal ruling in the country´s fierce battle over gun rights.

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It was the first gun case to come before the court -- where conservatives hold a 6-3 majority -- since a major decision issued in 2022 loosening gun restrictions.

“When an individual has been found by a court to pose a credible threat to the physical safety of another, that individual may be temporarily disarmed consistent with the second amendment,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the 8-1 opinion.

“Since the founding, the nation´s firearm laws have included regulations to stop individuals who threaten physical harm to others from misusing firearms. As applied to the facts of this case, (the law) fits comfortably within this tradition.”

In the 2022 decision, the nation´s highest court said it would authorise only “reasonable” exceptions to the second amendment right to bear arms and would rely on historical precedents when it comes to regulating firearms.

That ruling left lower courts struggling to determine whether gun restrictions before them are consistent with “the history and traditions” of firearms regulation in the United States in the late 18th to the 19th century.

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