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Supreme Court takes up case Tuesday that again tests gun rights

The case centers around a federal law that prohibits someone from possessing a gun if they're under a domestic violence restraining order.
Supreme Court takes up case Tuesday that again tests gun rights
Posted at 8:32 AM, Nov 07, 2023

The issue of gun rights is back in the spotlight of the Supreme Court Tuesday as justices hear their first case on the topic since last year's decision that called numerous gun control laws into question.

The case is United States v. Rahimi and it focuses on whether the government is allowed to restrict gun ownership for people who are placed under a domestic violence restraining order. 

The man at the center of the case, Zackey Rahimi, is accused of going on a weeks-long shooting spree despite being under a court order to stay away from his spouse. Rahimi's defense team says the federal gun ban is an infringement on his Second Amendment rights and points to the Supreme Court's ruling last year that overturned a 100-year-old concealed carry law in New York. 

That ruling ultimately resulted in dozens of gun restriction laws being struck down by lower courts.

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Meanwhile, the government is defending the existing law, saying there's a long history of disarming people who pose a threat to others. But one expert says the way the law is worded presents a challenging issue for the justices.

"It's written in such a way that it is illegal for people who may have never done anything wrong to own a gun," said Clark Neily, senior vice president for legal studies at the Cato Institute. "And the reason for that is that what triggers this dispossession requirement is the mere issuance of a domestic violence restraining order."

The high court's decision in the case will likely have widespread ripple effects on gun laws across the country, but a ruling isn't expected to come down for several months.

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