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Supreme Court upholds law barring domestic abusers from owning guns in major Second Amendment ruling

Originally Published: 21 JUN 24 10:25 ET

Updated: 21 JUN 24 10:27 ET

By John Fritze, CNN

(CNN) — The Supreme Court upheld a federal law Friday that bars guns for domestic abusers, rejecting an argument pressed by gun rights groups that the prohibition violated the Second Amendment.

In the case United States v. Rahimi, the Court voted 8-1 to uphold the constitutionality of prohibitions against firearm possession by individuals deemed a credible threat to the physical safety of others under domestic violence orders of protection.

The decision could help shore up similar federal gun regulations that have been challenged since the Supreme Court vastly expanded gun rights in 2022. That ruling caused substantial confusion for lower court judges reviewing Second Amendment lawsuits.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the opinion for an 8-1 majority. Justice Clarence Thomas filed a lone dissent.

KVIA Spoke with El Paso County Attorney Christina Sanchez about the ruling. Sanchez heads up the County Attorney's Office, which assists in the application for protective orders. She thinks the ruling will help those seeking protective orders in El Paso.

"We know that firearms have been more easily accessible because of, just, the nature of the laws here in Texas," Sanchez said in a virtual interview Friday evening. "(They're) easy to obtain. We know here in El Paso County, for example, we have seen a rise in gun-related crimes."

Sanchez said Friday's high court ruling bolsters the office's policy that has already been in place to remove guns from those who have a protective order in place against them.

"We've seen instances, for example, where there's been murder-suicides among intimate partners," Sanchez said. "We know in some of those instances, the individual has sought a protective order, or had sought a protective order in the past, or had sought one and withdrew it and didn't go forward in that particular instance. We know domestic violence is not uncommon for a lot of individuals in our community."

The Texas Council on Family Violence found that in 2022, 77 percent of homicides involving intimate partners involved a firearm. 

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