U.S. v. Rahimi goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday, November 7, 2023.

Here’s why this matters:

SCOTUS will decide if a federal law prohibiting possession of firearms by people subject to domestic violence protection orders is Constitutional — in other words, if an abuser who has a protection order or restraining order against them can legally keep their guns. The stakes are high. If the Supreme Court overturns this law, it would likely increase domestic gun violence and put lives — especially the lives of women — at risk.” — Kelly Roskam, JD, Director of law and policy at the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions

The Facts:

“Domestic violence and gun violence are deeply interconnected, impacting millions of women, families, and communities across the U.S. Guns are more likely to turn abuse fatal. In the U.S., the crisis of domestic violence is closely linked to the widespread and growing use of guns by abusers. Two-thirds of women killed by an intimate partner are killed with a gun. Existing loopholes in federal and state law allow access to guns by abusive partners and stalkers, often with deadly results.” — Everytown, Domestic Violence Statistics and Solutions

“Intimate partner violence and gun violence in the United States are inextricably linked, impacting millions of women, families, and communities across the country. Abusers with firearms are five times more likely to kill their female victims,1 and guns further exacerbate the power and control dynamic commonly used by abusers to inflict emotional abuse and exert coercive control over their victims.” Everytown, Guns and Violence Against Women, April 11, 2023

The intersection of gun violence in our culture and domestic violence was shocking. ― If we just enforced the laws on domestic violence we could really have an impact on gun violence as well.” — Jon Stewart

“The connection between domestic violence and gun violence is undeniable and made all the more deadly because of this country’s extraordinarily lax gun laws,” Shannon Watts founder of Moms Demand Action, told VICE News last year, after a man shot and killed seven people, including himself and his girlfriend, in Colorado Springs, Colorado. “From closing the dating partner and background check loopholes to enacting red flag laws, we need federal action to protect women and end this gun violence epidemic that kills 100 people every day and wounds hundreds more.”

“Mass shootings in the United States tend to share two characteristics: They are committed using assault weapons, and they are committed by men with a past of domestic violence and a poisonous relationship toward women.” — VICE News

“A link to domestic violence is all too common in mass shootings, as copious research has uncovered. An Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence study published last year found that, in nearly 70 percent of mass shootings analyzed by researchers, the perpetrator either killed family members or partners, or had a history of domestic violence. Children are particularly at risk: Out of the 362 children and teens killed in mass shootings between 2009 and 2020, 72 percent died in domestic violence-related attacks, Everytown for Gun Safety found in a 2021 report.”

The Root Causes & Solutions:

Cultural perpetuation of misogyny leads to Domestic Violence → Ignored Domestic Violence leads to Gun Violence/Mass Shootings.

“Most mass shootings are rooted in domestic violence. Most mass shooters have a history of domestic or family violence in their background. It’s an important red flag.” — Shannon Watts, Moms Demand ActionNew Times, A Common Trait Among Mass Killers: Hatred Toward Women

When our culture and legal systems silence victim- survivors of domestic violence, disbelieves them, or ignores substantial evidence of abuse (intimate partner violence, post-separation abuse/coercive control) as it’s presented via our legal system, instead of stopping the violence by holding perpetrators accountable the first time, the violence is enabled and we embolden perpetrators, putting everyone in our communities at risk, and then society still blames women when they escalate. The same women who tried to warn everyone and stop the violence in the first place.

“When the victim of domestic violence finally makes her “escape,” the character traits of the coercive controller [abuser] leave that individual with a significant sense of abandonment. Any person who supports the victim is seen as a threat in much the same way that the victim is seen as a threat. Revenge becomes the ultimate weapon since coping with this sense of abandonment is an impossible feat to reconcile. The coercive controller will intensify their control in an attempt to regain the control lost. This is when violence may be the final act.” — Dr. Christine Marie Cocchiola, Doctor of Clinical Social Welfare, Coercive Control Educator/Researcher

“If we simply kept guns away from domestic violence offenders we could potentially stop 60%+ of mass shootings, 30% of child firearm deaths, 50% of IPV murders of women, 65% IPV murders of Black women and 75% of IPV murders of Indigenous women.” — Jon Stewart, The Problem With Guns (and Domestic Abusers) Apple

“The evidence is clear: Common-sense laws that keep guns out of the hands of abusive partners reduce gun violence and domestic violence.” — Everytown, Domestic Violence Statistics and Solutions

United States v. Rahimi Case Information