Statement Regarding United States v. Rahimi Ruling
As Louisiana’s federally designated domestic violence coalition, the Louisiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence (LCADV) strongly condemns the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in United States v. Rahimi, which strikes down a federal law prohibiting those subject to a domestic violence protective order from possessing firearms. In its ruling, the Court found that disarming domestic abuse perpetrators, who have been found by a court to pose a credible threat to the safety of their victims, does not “fit within our Nation’s historical tradition of firearm regulation.” This reliance on the historical acceptance of domestic violence recklessly places victims in extreme danger.
While its implications are broad, this decision addresses the constitutionality of only one specific federal statute, 18 USC 922(g)(8). Those with certain domestic violence-related convictions, and those subject to a domestic abuse protection order remain prohibited from possessing firearms under Louisiana state law, which this ruling does not strike down. Further, this ruling does not affect areas outside the jurisdiction of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals (Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi).
As we work to analyze the exact impact this ruling will have on victims in Louisiana, we remember the many victims of domestic violence in our state who have been killed by their abuser with a firearm. In 2020, 74% of female victims of intimate partner homicide in Louisiana were killed with firearms. We know that domestic violence and firearms are a deadly combination, and we call on courts and law enforcement across Louisiana to enforce and strengthen Louisiana’s state-level domestic violence firearm prohibitions in light of this ruling.
LCADV remains dedicated to bringing about change in our institutions, laws, politics, attitudes, and beliefs which will allow individuals to live free of violence. Local domestic violence programs across Louisiana remain available to help domestic violence victims find safety and legal protections from abuse. Survivors in need of assistance can contact Louisiana’s statewide domestic violence hotline at 1-888-411-1333, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, for free, confidential support.