gavel.jpgIn a 7-2 decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the federal law that bans convicted domestic violence abusers from owning guns.

“Firearms and domestic strife are a potentially deadly combination nationwide,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote.

“We are delighted,” said Sue Else, President of the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV). “Batterers should not have access to guns. This decision is a major victory for victims of domestic violence and their families.”

According to the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, which filed a brief that was cited by the Court, more than three people are killed by intimate partners every day in the United States. Intimate partner homicides account for up to one-half of all homicides of females —  more than 1,000 each year. Even more alarming, 14 percent of all police officer deaths occur while responding to domestic violence calls.

The Court upheld a broad federal ban on gun possession by those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence. The ban enacted by Congress in 1996 as the Lautenberg Amendment prohibits abusers convicted of domestic violence crimes from possessing firearms. In April 2007, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a wife beater’s conviction for illegal gun possession by narrowly interpreting the law as only barring gun possession by abusers convicted of laws specifically barring domestic violence, rather than all persons convicted of domestic violence under general assault and battery laws.

(Read more in Atlanta Journal-Constitution)


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