Gun Violence Prevention Task Force Releases Statement on Today's Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Federal Law Preventing Domestic Violence Offenders from Possessing Firearms

Press Release


Washington – Today, the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, Chaired by Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04), released the following statement following the Supreme Court’s ruling in United States v. Rahimi to uphold a 1994 federal gun violence prevention law which prevents domestic abusers from purchasing and possessing firearms:

“Continuing to prohibit domestic abusers from accessing firearms will save lives. Although today’s Supreme Court decision upholding the constitutionality of the 1994 federal law preventing domestic abusers from possessing firearms is welcomed, it is troubling that the Supreme Court’s Bruen decision jeopardized this longstanding protection for victims of domestic violence and continues to threaten other commonsense gun violence prevention laws.

"Despite today’s positive ruling, the fact remains that gun violence is the leading cause of death for American children and teenagers. The Supreme Court continues to undermine commonsense gun violence prevention laws. In fact, just last week the Court ruled to legalize bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic firearms to function like machineguns.

"Make no mistake: So long as the Court’s Bruen decision stands, it threatens to overturn thousands of other commonsense gun violence prevention laws on the state and federal levels, with devastating effects on the safety of our friends, families, and neighbors.”

Background on United States v. Rahimi

The defendant in United States v. Rahimi, Zackey Rahimi, assaulted his girlfriend and threatened to shoot her, later threatened to shoot another woman, was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and was suspected of five shootings in Texas between 2020 and 2021. Police searched his home and found multiple firearms in his possession, which was illegal as he had a domestic violence restraining order preventing him from possessing a firearm under federal law.

In 2022, the New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit initially ruled to uphold Mr. Rahimi’s conviction for illegally possessing a firearm. Then, in 2023, the Fifth Circuit agreed to rehear Mr. Rahimi’s case after the Supreme Court’s ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, which established a new legal test that requires gun violence prevention laws to be rooted in U.S. history and tradition. The court found that the federal statute preventing Mr. Rahimi from possessing a gun was not sufficiently similar to any historical laws raised by the government near the time of the United States’ founding. The prosecutor presented numerous historical laws that disarmed individuals dating from the colonial period, yet the court deemed these laws were aimed at preserving political and social order, and not protecting an identified person from a specific threat posed by another. As a result, the Fifth Circuit ruled it illegal to prohibit Mr. Rahimi from possessing a firearm. Today’s 8 to 1 ruling by the Supreme Court reverses the Fifth Circuit’s ruling and rightfully upholds the 1994 federal law that prevents violent abusers from possessing firearms.

The Gun Violence Prevention Task Force consists of 180 Members of Congress. Task Force leadership includes:

  • Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-4), Chair
  • Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-8), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Jason Crow (CO-6), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Madeleine Dean (PA-4), Chief Whip
  • Rep. Maxwell Frost (FL-10), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Daniel Goldman (NY-10), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Jahana Hayes (CT-5), Deputy Whip
  • Rep. Jeff Jackson (NC-14), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Robin Kelly (IL-2), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Lucy McBath (GA-6), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Grace Napolitano (CA-31), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Joe Neguse (CO-2), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-5), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Patrick Ryan (NY-19), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Robert "Bobby" Scott (VA-3), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Norma Torres (CA-35), Vice Chair
  • Rep. Marc Veasey (TX-33), Deputy Whip