(U.S. Court of Appeals, 5th Cir. Feb. 2, 2023): The Fifth Circuit found unconstitutional a federal law prohibiting firearm possession by persons subject to domestic violence protection orders. Defendant Rahimi was under a civil protective order because of an alleged assault on his girlfriend. While subject to the order, Rahimi was involved in five different shootings in Texas and was charged with a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(8), a federal criminal law prohibiting the distribution to or possession of firearms by persons subject to domestic violence protection orders. Rahimi challenged the constitutionality of § 922. Applying the historical analogue test set out by the Supreme Court in 2022 in N.Y. State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Fifth Circuit found that the government failed to show that § 922(g)(8)’s restrictions fit within the country’s history of firearm regulation, making § 922(g)(8) an unconstitutional restriction on Second Amendment rights. As a result, Rahimi’s conviction was vacated. Read the full decision here. The Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to hear the case.
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