Washington Gun Law

ACLU Argues Against Gun Rights in Domestic Violence Case

Video Highlights

  • The video discusses a case, United States v. Rahimi, which challenges a law prohibiting possession of firearms by those accused of domestic violence.
  • The ACLU has filed a memorandum as an amicus arguing against the restriction of gun rights for those subject to domestic violence protection orders.
  • The ACLU claims that there is historical support for restricting gun possession for individuals deemed to pose a specific threat to others.
  • The ACLU justifies civil protection orders with firearm restrictions as a response to grave problems.
  • The video criticizes the ACLU for not focusing on the procedural problems and lack of due process in implementing these civil orders.

Video Summary

In a recent video on Washington Gun Law TV, President William Kirk discussed a significant case involving domestic violence that is set to go before the United States Supreme Court. The case in question, United States v. Rahimi, challenges a law that prohibits individuals accused of domestic violence from possessing firearms. Kirk highlighted the surprising involvement of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as an amicus, or a friend of the court, in this case. He delved into the ACLU's arguments and explained why they are arguing against gun rights in this particular situation.

The video began with Kirk acknowledging the seriousness of the issue of domestic violence and how it brings out the worst in people. He mentioned that the case of United States v. Rahimi is gut-wrenching and will be a significant challenge to 18 USC section 922 G8, a law that restricts firearm possession for those accused of domestic violence. He noted that many states have similar laws in place.

Kirk then introduced the ACLU as an unexpected amicus in this case. He explained that an amicus is a party that seeks to join a case as a friend of the court by filing a memorandum either in support of the petitioner or the respondents. He commended the ACLU's arguments in their pleadings, stating that they are legally sound. He also mentioned that the historical precedent of disarming individuals deemed dangerous has been rooted in racism, but it is still a valid argument for the government to restrict gun rights.

The ACLU's argument, as outlined by Kirk, is that the Supreme Court should reverse the circuit court's opinion in Rahimi but on a narrower ground. They believe that there is ample historical support for restricting gun rights for individuals who pose a specific threat to others. The ACLU claims that the limitation on gun possession in this case applies only to individuals subject to specific domestic violence protection orders and lasts only as long as those orders are in place.

Kirk discussed the ACLU's claim that the Bruin framework authorizes disarming individuals judicially determined to pose a specific threat of domestic violence. He acknowledged that there is language in the Bruin opinion that supports this argument. The ACLU also justifies civil protection orders with the aim of responding to grave problems, such as domestic violence, and believes that the firearm restrictions tied to these orders directly address these issues.

However, Kirk disagreed with the ACLU's assertion that this case does not present a constitutional question. He argued that the long tradition of gun restrictions in the United States has been rooted in race, making this a categorical restriction rather than one based on individual circumstances. He also pointed out the procedural issues surrounding civil protection orders, such as the lack of due process for individuals whose gun rights are being taken away.

Kirk concluded the video by encouraging viewers to read the ACLU's brief themselves and form their own opinions. He emphasized the importance of understanding the law and how it applies to individual situations. He also reminded viewers to be responsible gun owners and stay informed about their rights.

In summary, the ACLU's involvement in United States v. Rahimi, a case challenging firearm restrictions for those accused of domestic violence, has sparked controversy. While the ACLU argues that there is historical support for limiting gun possession for individuals deemed dangerous, critics point out the procedural issues and the historical basis of such restrictions in racism. The case will be closely watched as it makes its way to the Supreme Court.