The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday on a federal gun ban that affects individuals convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence charges. In 1996, lawmakers approved an amendment to a federal gun ban that restricted those convicted of violent felonies from owning guns to include those convicted of “misdemeanor crime[s] of domestic violence”, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Last year, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the ban did not apply to individuals who were convicted of assault or battery that took place in their homes, but only to those convicted under a state’s domestic violence law. The federal gun ban could be lifted for many domestic violence abusers because most states do not have misdemeanor domestic violence laws.
Both the Brady Center to prevent Gun Violence and Legal Momentum, a New York women’s advocacy group, support the current federal ban. According to Women’s eNews, Legal Momentum found that when domestic violence abusers are in possession of a gun, they are 12 times more likely to kill their victims. The Brady Center noted the ban also prevents deaths of police officers who respond to domestic violence cases.