Thompson, Dingell Highlight Danger of Firearms in Domestic Violence Situations

Press Release


Washington – Today, Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-04) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-06) highlighted a poll from 19th News/Survey Monkey survey that showed 82 percent of Americans want gun restrictions for those convicted of domestic violence.

“The availability of firearms in domestic violence situations significantly increases the threat of violence and risk of death or injury of those being abused,” said Thompson. “People who are a threat to themselves or others should not be able to possess a firearm, and this poll demonstrates that this is not a partisan issue. As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the Rahimi case on this issue, we must ensure that survivors of domestic violence are not put into further dangerous positions because of extremist judges who put ideology over the safety of Americans.”

“The data on firearms and domestic abuse is clear: access to a firearm increases the risk of intimate partner homicide at least five-fold. We cannot continue to let this issue be a political talking point – far too many lives have already been lost to violence that could have been prevented. This polling demonstrates that the majority of Americans, regardless of party affiliation, believe that we must continue to fight to keep firearms out of the hands of abusers and to maintain and strengthen protections for survivors of domestic violence,” said Dingell.

According to the poll, 82 percent of Americans support a federal law banning those convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun, including 81 percent of Republicans and 91 percent of Democrats.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence reports that women experience domestic violence at about twice the rate of men, and the presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation increases the risk of homicide by 500 percent.

The defendant in United States v. Rahimi was suspected of five shootings in Texas between 2020 and 2021. Police searched his home and found multiple firearms. He had a domestic violence restraining order which prevented him from owning a firearm under federal law.

The New Orleans-based Fifth Circuit agreed to rehear his case after the Bruen decision and applied the new “history and tradition” legal test. The court found that the federal statute was not sufficiently similar to any historical laws raised by the government. The prosecutor presented numerous historical laws that disarmed individuals dating from the colonial period. The court thought these laws were aimed at preserving political and social order, and not protecting an identified person from a specific threat posed by another.

If the Fifth Circuit decision in Rahimi is upheld, it would open the floodgates to domestic violence abusers and other dangerous people seeking to possess firearms.