On Monday, June 27 th, the Supreme Court upheld the broad reach of a federal law that bars people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from owning guns. This case involved two Maine men who argued that their guilty pleas for abusing their partners should not disqualify them from owning gun(s). They had both been convicted of breaking federal law by possessing firearms following misdemeanor convictions for domestic violence. However, Justice Elena Kagan spoke for herself and five other justices saying, “Congress enacted the gun law some 20 years ago to close a loophole and prohibit domestic abusers convicted under run-of- the-mill misdemeanor assault and battery laws from possessing guns. If the law were read to exclude misdemeanors in which a person acted recklessly, it would substantially undermine the provision’s design.”
This case was a hot topic of debate between gun rights activists and advocates for victims of domestic abuse. Nonetheless, White House spokesman Eric Shultz suggested that this ruling may not have a significant impact on the debate in Congress about gun control.
If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence, contact our office.