HomeUSU.S. bishops applaud Supreme Court ruling on domestic violence gun law

U.S. bishops applaud Supreme Court ruling on domestic violence gun law

Christian Defense Coalition Director Rev. Patrick Mahoney holds a sign that reads “Abusers Should NOT Own Guns!” outside the Supreme Court on June 21, 2024, in Washington, D.C. / Credit: Andrew Harnik/Getty Images

CNA Staff, Jun 24, 2024 / 12:38 pm (CNA).

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has praised a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on gun regulation, saying it will help protect victims of domestic violence by forbidding suspected abusers from owning guns.

The court last week ruled in United States v. Rahimi that “when an individual has been found by a court to pose a credible threat to the physical safety of another, that individual may be temporarily disarmed” without violating the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which allows for broad firearm ownership.

In a statement on Saturday, Archbishop Borys Gudziak — the chairman of the bishops’ Committee for Domestic Justice and Human Development — said “the common good demands that society protect vulnerable women and children from domestic violence.”

“[R]easonable restrictions on gun possession to ensure their safety do not violate the Constitution,” Gudziak, the metropolitan archbishop of Philadelphia of the Ukrainian Catholic Church, said in the statement.

“Violence in any form is sinful, and the bishops have stated as clearly and strongly as we can that violence against women, inside or outside the home, is never justified,” the prelate said.

“We welcome today’s opinion in upholding safeguards for women and children against gun violence. Properly understood, the Constitution does not require that a victim of domestic violence should fear for her life.”

The Supreme Court “has affirmed the government’s ability to protect victims of abuse,” the archbishop said.

The USCCB had filed an amicus brief in the case in support of the government. In their August 2023 filing the bishops had argued that “the right to bear arms is not an unqualified license that must leave vulnerable family members to live in fear.”

“Abused victims are precisely the people whom a just government is tasked with protecting,” the bishops said. “The Second Amendment does not stand as a barrier to their safety.”

The court’s ruling was near unanimous; Justice Clarence Thomas was the only dissenter from the court’s ruling. The conservative judge argued that the court and the government could not “point to a single historical law revoking a citizen’s Second Amendment right based on possible interpersonal violence.”

“[I]n the interest of ensuring the government can regulate one subset of society, today’s decision puts at risk the Second Amendment rights of many more,” the justice said.

This is not the only gun-related decision from the high court this year.

Last month the Supreme Court struck down a Trump-era federal rule that banned “bump stocks,” with the court arguing that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had overstepped its authority in banning the rapid-fire gun accessories.

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