Dingell, Fitzpatrick, Klobuchar File Amicus Brief in U.S. vs. Rahimi
Washington, August 23, 2023
Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) along with Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) have filed an amicus brief in the pending United States v. Rahimi Supreme Court case, which will consider whether individuals with domestic-violence restraining orders can be prohibited from possessing a firearm.
The brief asserts that Congress enacted § 922(g)(8), the firearm prohibition for individuals subject to a restraining order, nearly three decades ago after being presented compelling evidence that domestic violence was a pervasive and persisting problem in the U.S. It was concluded on a bipartisan basis – including even the staunchest defenders of Second Amendment rights – that individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders pose an immediate danger to those closest them and shouldn’t have easy access to firearms. This aligns with a centuries old tradition of legislatures regulating firearm access to those posing the greatest risk of danger, which has historically been deemed consistent with the Second Amendment. This law has proven successful in reducing spousal homicides, and the Fifth Circuit Court decision jeopardizes decades of bipartisan efforts to protect some of our country’s most vulnerable citizens.
“The data on firearms and domestic abuse is clear. We know perpetrators of violence use firearms to exert power and control over their victims, and access to a firearm increases the risk of intimate partner homicide at least five-fold. The Firth Circuit court decision will cost lives,” Dingell said. “Survivors with protection orders deserve full protection and safety under the law, and we have a responsibility to provide that peace of mind and safety by keeping weapons out of the hands of their abusers, as is currently the law.”
“I’m proud to lead this bipartisan amicus brief that makes clear that there exists strong congressional intent and history supporting restrictions on domestic abusers from obtaining firearms,” said Fitzpatrick. “It is possible to support the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens while ensuring that firearms are not in the hands of dangerous, violent individuals like domestic abusers.”
“As a former prosecutor, I’ve seen firsthand the serious emotional and physical toll domestic violence can take on victims, particularly when a gun is involved,” said Klobuchar. “Victims of domestic abuse and their families deserve peace of mind and certainty that their abuser will not have access to firearms. There is a decades-long history of bipartisan support for these common sense and lifesaving protections. Therefore the Supreme Court must reject any argument that would pull the rug out from under these victims and lead to serious harm or death.”
View the full text of the brief here.