Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (MI-06) today rallied outside the Supreme Court with domestic violence prevention and gun safety advocates to call for federal protections for survivors as the Court begins to hear oral argument in United States v. Rahimi, which will consider whether individuals with domestic-violence restraining orders can be prohibited from possessing a firearm.
“Since 1994, we’ve made a promise to survivors that their abusers who were subject to domestic violence protection orders could not access guns. 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,” Dingell said. “If the Supreme Court affirms the decision of the Fifth Circuit, it will cost lives. Overturning this protection will put survivors at the mercy of a patchwork of state laws and judicial discretion. We know that these safeguards are responsible for at least an 8 percent reduction in partner homicides. We cannot go backward, and we must ensure that these protections are guaranteed at the federal level.”
“Dangerous people should not have access to firearms, plain and simple. And frankly, this issue is personal for me,” Dingell continued. “Growing up, I lived in a house with a man—my father—that should not have had access to a gun. I don’t want any child, spouse, or partner to experience the trauma that my family did. Families should not have to fear for their lives because federal law failed to protect them. We must continue fighting not only to uphold laws that protect survivors but expand and strengthen them.”
In August, Dingell, along with Representative Fitzpatrick and Senator Klobuchar filed an amicus brief in United States v. Rahimi. The brief asserts that Congress enacted a firearm prohibition for individuals subject to a restraining order nearly three decades ago with strong bipartisan support from even the staunchest defenders of Second Amendment Rights. Strong evidence points to the fact that individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders pose an immediate danger and should not have access to firearms, a principle that has guided decades of regulation and has been deemed consistent with the Second Amendment.
View photos from the event here. View a video of Dingell’s full remarks here.