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The Partner Project Commentary: Supreme Court, Domestic Violence & Guns

We cannot in good consciousness provide weapons to people we know are prone to violent acts.

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the broad reach of a federal law that bans people convicted of domestic violence from owning guns. The Court recently rejected arguments that the law covers only intentional acts of abuse, and not those committed in the heat of an argument. A decision The Partner Project supports.

The case in question involved two Maine men who said their guilty pleas for hitting their partners should not disqualify them from gun ownership. The dispute drew interest from advocates for victims of domestic abuse who say the law applies to reckless behavior as well as intentional misconduct. Gun rights groups argued that the men should not lose their constitutional right to bear arms because of misdemeanor abuse convictions. A federal appeals court ruled against the men.

To think that people who commit acts of domestic violence should be allowed to enhance their ability to inflict life altering physical and emotional abuse in the name of the 2nd Amendment is unfathomable. Gun rights groups, no doubt fearing they would lose ground in the gun rights National debate, argued that if an abuser was convicted of domestic related crimes punishable by less than one year in incarceration, they should not lose their inalienable right to bear arms. Here is all that one needs to know about why convicted abusers should not have the ability to escalate their sadistic actions:

  1. Women in the U.S. are 11 times more likely to be murdered with a gun than in other developed nation. (Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 2013).

  2. Having a gun in the home increases the risk of homicide by 20 times when there is a history of domestic violence (John Hopkins Center For Gun Policy and Research, 2010).

While The Partner Project believes the current justices got this ruling correct, support must be given to enacting a federal law that makes all domestic violence convictions felonies before the 9th ideologue comes aboard and tilts the court in one direction or another.

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