A group of Second Amendment defenders wrote in court filings that the Supreme Court should guarantee gun rights for an accused domestic abuser, the Huffington Post reports. The amicus filings offer a window into gun groups’ thinking on the questions posed by USA v. Zackey Rahimi, which promises to define how the court will interpret the right to bear arms in the coming years, and specifically whether laws banning domestic abusers from gun possession are constitutional. The justices will hear oral arguments next month. In addition to the alleged domestic violence against his former partner, with whom he has a young child, Rahimi faces felony prosecutions in Tarrant County, Tex.,, for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon against three separate people, recklessly discharging a firearm and possession of fentanyl.
Rahimi publicly discharged firearms at least six times, including repeatedly shooting at a woman he lured into a parking lot. After landing in prison to face state criminal charges, he attacked a prison guard. Those allegations are beside the point, says a filing submitted by nine gun rights groups. No matter how unsympathetic a figure Rahimi is, gun owners should not be stripped of their Second Amendment rights without first being convicted of a crime with a high standard of evidence, the groups say. Congress made it a felony to possess a firearm while subject to protective order for domestic violence in 1996. The law survived constitutional challenges for nearly three decades. Several states go further than that, barring firearm possession for people subject to a temporary restraining order.