The Supreme Court is currently considering whether individuals accused of domestic abuse can own guns. This case could have significant implications, and both gun safety and domestic violence advocates gathered outside the court during the hearing. NBC News justice and intelligence correspondent Kend Delanian joins me now to discuss the details of the case.
It is important to note that the accused in this case, Zachirahimee, has a history of violent behavior towards his girlfriend, including assaulting her and threatening her with a gun. He was subject to a protective order that suspended his handgun license in Texas, but he went on to commit further gun crimes, for which he is currently serving prison time.
The main issue in this case is whether the law that prohibited him from owning a gun under the domestic violence protection order is constitutional. The Fifth Circuit, which covers Texas, ruled that it was not based on a previous Supreme Court decision.
However, during the hearing, the Justices seemed to disagree with this ruling, expressing a consensus that individuals guilty of domestic violence should not be allowed to possess firearms. The question now is what guidelines the Supreme Court will establish to ensure consistency in interpreting the previous decision. There is currently a lack of agreement among lower courts on the interpretation of gun laws, creating a chaotic situation that the Supreme Court is hoping to resolve. It is worth noting that there is data demonstrating the urgency of this issue, as an average of 70 women are shot and killed by their intimate partners every month.
If the Supreme Court were to overturn this law, there would be significant consequences. Around 13,000 individuals are prevented from buying guns each year due to domestic violence orders, and there are likely many more who should be prevented but are not due to flaws in the system.
Additionally, this could raise questions about other provisions that prohibit individuals such as those with mental illness or felons from owning guns. Ultimately, this case could have a profound impact on major gun laws in the United States.
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