Supreme Court to hear Arlington case on law that takes guns from those accused of domestic violence

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could end a federal law that has been in place for nearly 30 years.

The federal law temporarily takes guns away from a person charged, but not convicted of domestic violence.

Earlier this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the law unconstitutional, overturning the conviction of an Arlington man, Zackey Rahimi, who fired a weapon at others five times in two months after being charged with domestic violence. Rahimi also had a protective order in place prohibiting him from having weapons.

<div>Zackey Rahimi</div>
Zackey Rahimi

SMU Law School professor Natalie Nanasi says the Fifth Circuit followed an opinion the Supreme Court had issued in a New York state gun case.

"[The opinion] says a regulation is constitutional if there is an historical precedent for it and what the Fifth Circuit found was because there weren't domestic violence protective orders back when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791 that the present day regulation was unconstitutional," said Nanasi.

Gun violence survivor Stephanie Boone hopes the Supreme Court will leave the law in place.

"My husband of almost 22 years pulled me into the bedroom on a random Saturday afternoon saying there was something he wanted to discuss, but not in front of the children. He pulled out a .45 caliber handgun, shot me three times and then committed suicide," she recalled.

Jan Langbein with Genesis Women's Shelter sees a tragic link between guns and the most violent abusers.

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"We know that here in Dallas County approximately 65% of those women that are killed, are killed by their abuser with a firearm," she said.

[REPORTER: "Gun rights advocates say you're taking my weapons from me before I've been convicted of any crime."]

"Correct, I hear that, but there's an easy answer to that," replied Langbein. "We're not anti-firearms of all kinds to all people. Just don't abuse your family in your home and there'll be no question about this."

The question now is what the High Court will decide.

"I think that the court is going to do what most reasonable people in this country would agree is the right thing to do, which is to say that domestic violence offenders should not be able to have access to guns. I think that there's a way for them to analyze the law to let that happen," said Nanasi.

"This law is so important because I'm one of the lucky ones. I survived, but women die every day when domestic violence is in the home and there is a handgun present," said Boone.

The Supreme Court's decision may not come down until this summer.