The Supreme Court held a hearing regarding a federal law that prohibits those accused of domestic abuse from owning a firearm.
Debate surrounding gun rights has picked up steam since a 2022 ruling that expanded Second Amendment applications.
A SafeNet representative told us guns are often used at the height of domestic disputes, but it’s a decision there’s no going back from and should continue to be preventable.
In cases of domestic violence, the accused abuser is usually stripped of their firearms. But after courts in different states ruled contrary to that standard, the Supreme Court is taking another look at the law.
“If a final order of protection from abuse is entered against an individual, their weapons are confiscated for the period that that order is to run. . . whether it’s six months to three years,” said Bruce Sandmeyer, Erie attorney at law.
Attorney Bruce Sandmeyer said he sees it all the time, domestic situations can get out of hand in a hurry.
He added police are often concerned when heading to domestic disputes out of fear that an unknown firearm could be present. It’s all the more reason supporters said this law being reviewed can’t change.
“It’s already hard enough to have a gun taken,” Said Robyn Young, executive director of SafeNet “To get a protection order, you have to have proof that something has happened. It’s not like you can just go into court and say ‘hey take their gun.’ You have to prove it, that something’s happened and that there’s a history of abuse between the people, it’s not easy.”
One of the reasons this conversation is happening at the Supreme Court level is a ruling in 2022 that decided there is a right for people to bear arms outside of their homes for defense.
“This is not something that the legislature can sort of erase and pretend doesn’t exist. It is a right that Americans have,” Sandmeyer said.
But there are rights we have in the constitution that are limited and Sandmeyer said gun regulation isn’t excluded, especially when an owner could be considered dangerous.
“Under the First Amendment, there is not an absolute right to every type of free speech. There are limits, and there are limits to the Second Amendment also,” Sandmeyer went on to say.
The court’s decision is expected next year.