Skip to content

New Here?

Gun Lobby Organizations Submit Amicus Briefs in Support of Arming Domestic Abusers

October 5, 2023

NEW YORK – As the Supreme Court prepares to hear oral arguments in United States v. Rahimi, the case that will determine whether people who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders have the constitutional right to possess a gun, several gun lobby organizations, including the National Rifle Association, Gun Owners of America, the Firearms Policy Coalition, the National Association for Gun Rights, and the Second Amendment Foundation, submitted amicus briefs in support of arming abusers. 

Unsurprisingly, many of the briefs filed in support of the lower court’s dangerous decision look to dispute or outright ignore the dangerous reality for women and families in domestic violence relationships, especially in situations where their abusers are armed. While research makes it clear that access to a gun makes a woman five times more likely to die at the hands of her abuser, gun lobby organizations instead focused their arguments on the importance of arming Americans and on manufacturing a Second Amendment right for dangerous abusers. 

“It’s not surprising, though it is absolutely enraging, that gun lobby groups came out in droves to support the Fifth Circuit’s outrageous, reckless and deadly decision to allow domestic abusers to arm themselves,” said Angela Ferrell-Zabala, Executive Director of Moms Demand Action. “These briefs make it abundantly clear that the gun lobby doesn’t care about how devastating – and deadly – it will be for women and families across the country if violent abusers can get their hands on a gun. The gun lobby’s only priority is arming America to the teeth with deadly weapons.”

“After years of fighting tooth and nail to arm any and all Americans, the gun lobby is pulling out all the stops to ensure abusers across America can arm themselves,” said Nick Suplina, Senior Vice President for Law and Policy at Everytown for Gun Safety. “The briefs submitted in support of Rahimi make it abundantly clear: the gun lobby does not care about public safety. Their only goal is advancing their extreme agenda no matter the cost, and they will stop at nothing to get their way.” 

“I know first hand what it will mean for survivors and victims of intimate partner violence if the Supreme Court rules that abusers can arm themselves,” said Melody McFadden, a Moms Demand Action volunteer in South Carolina and member of the Everytown Veterans Advisory Council whose mother, Patricia Ann, was shot and killed by an abusive partner. “The amicus briefs submitted today paint a clear and deadly picture: gun lobby extremists would much rather see an America where anyone, even dangerous abusers, can get access to a gun, no questions asked, even if it means women and families will pay the ultimate price. The Supreme Court must overturn the Fifth Circuit’s decision and put the safety of survivors over the demands of the gun lobby.”

Rahimi centers on the longstanding federal law prohibiting individuals subject to domestic violence restraining orders from possessing firearms, which the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held unconstitutional this past February. If the Supreme Court affirms the Fifth Circuit’s shocking decision, it will upend a critical protection that has been in place for almost 30 years, allowing domestic abusers to possess firearms under federal law and putting domestic violence survivors in all 50 states and Washington D.C. at risk for gun violence. 

Read the amicus briefs submitted in support of the Fifth Circuit’s extreme decision here, including briefs submitted by: 

  • The National Rifle Association
  • Gun Owners of America
  • Firearms Policy Coalition
  • National Association for Gun Rights
  • Second Amendment Foundation
  • Phyllis Schlafly Eagles

To speak with an expert about United States v. Rahimi please contact [email protected]

If you're a member of the media, please send inquiries to [email protected]