When someones accused of domestic violenceand ordered to stay awaythat order often includes a requirement to turn in any guns. But a Federal court threw out that requirement for three states, and people who fight domestic violence worry the ruling could eventually affect Arizona.
The Goal of Emerge Center Against Domestic Abuse is just as it sounds but now theres some concern about a Federal Court ruling that says if youre under a Federal restraining order, because of domestic violence you do not have to give up your gun. For now that does not apply in Arizona but theres a lot of concern that it could.
Rachel Tineo knows what can happen when theres an angry person and a gun come together. Her niece Tina is dead because an ex-boyfriend, under a restraining order, had a gun in easy reach.
And so had he had, you know, a restraining order plus an additional restriction of not being able to carry a firearm, then maybe she’d still be alive, you know, and she’d be telling her story as their survivor instead of me as a family member.
Its common in most states for judges to set protective orders that also order that person to turn in his or her guns. Now a Federal appeals court says that breaks the Second Amendment.
The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a Texas man accused in five separate shooting incidents. When police came to arrest him they found even before the incidents he was under a Federal domestic violence order that said he was not supposed to even have a gun.
He pleaded guilty to violating the restraining order but appealed it.
That led to the 5th Circuit ruling that found because the law on restraining orders did not have a parallel in the early days of the Constitution that it should be thrown out.
The judges wrote: The question presented in this case is not whether prohibiting the possession of firearms by someone subject to a domestic violence restraining order is a laudable policy goal. The question is whether 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8), a specific statute that does so, is constitutional under the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
The judges decided its not Constitutional but 5th Circuit rulings apply to Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. But the potential for other rulings to apply it here is alarming groups that work to prevent domestic violence.
That includes Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, CEO of Emerge. He says, While protecting constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment, are important so is the constitutional right to being alive.
Mercurio-Sakwa worries the court ruling will expand to Arizona and other states.
Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes is joining with 24 other Attorneys General to urge the Supreme Court to overturn the ruling.
She says: Allowing individuals with domestic violence restraining orders access to firearms puts their victims at risk and endangers the broader community.
Rachel Tineo says if she could tell the Supreme Court about her niece, she would.
Well, the Second Amendment, you know, everybody has a right to carry a firearm. I agree with that. But no one has the right to harm other people intentionally. Just because they want to control another person. So when you mix those two together, which one is more valuable, carrying a gun or saving a life?
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