The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today in a 6-2 vote that domestic abusers convicted of misdemeanors can be barred from owning weapons.
The majority opinion, written by Justice Elena Kagan, concludes that misdemeanor assault convictions for domestic violence are sufficient to invoke a federal ban on firearms possession.
The plaintiffs in this case, Stephen Voisine and William Armstrong, both of Maine, had pleaded guilty in state court to misdemeanor assault charges after slapping or shoving their romantic partners. Several years later, each man was found to have firearms and ammunition in their possession in violation of a federal law affecting convicted domestic abusers.
Both argued that the weapons ban should not apply to them because their misdemeanor cases were for “reckless conduct” rather than intentional abuse.
Their appeal had been rejected by the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but the plaintiffs carried it on to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear it. Five justices concurred in Kagan’s opinion, while Justice Clarence Thomas dissented and Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented in part.
Domestic Abusers Can Lose Their Gun-Ownership Rights, Supreme Court Rules : The Two-Way : NPR
Good court decision!
Terrifying argument on the plaintiff’s part. “I’m not malicious, I’m just dangerously reckless!” is NOT a good argument for being allowed to own a firearm. o_O