Supreme Court Finally Recognizes Importance of Some Gun Restrictions - Alliance for Justice

Supreme Court Finally Recognizes Importance of Some Gun Restrictions

Press Release


Gun Safety

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Zack Ford

WASHINGTON, D.C., June 21, 2024 – Today the Supreme Court issued its decision in U.S. v. Rahimi, ruling that there indeed must be limits on who has access to firearms. A majority of the Court agreed that guns should be restricted from individuals already found to be dangerous, like those facing charges for domestic violence. The decision demonstrates there are limits to the Court’s broad Bruen ruling from two years ago.

Chief Justice Roberts writes for an 8–1 majority that the history of firearm restrictions confirms: “When an individual poses a clear threat of physical violence to another, the threatening individual may be disarmed.” Those subject to a restraining order meet this test, at least so long as they are subject to that order. It is an important, if subtle, walk back of the broad “history and tradition” test implemented in Bruen. Roberts explains that the Fifth Circuit erred in looking for a “historical twin” rather than a “historical analogue.” As Justice Jackson notes in a concurrence, lower courts are still struggling to implement Bruen.

Justice Thomas argues in a dissent that “not a single historical regulation justifies the statute at issue,” trying his best to shore up Bruen’s history test at the expense of common sense and public safety.

Alliance for Justice Vice President of Strategy Keith Thirion issued the following statement:

“We have a serious and deadly gun violence problem in our nation, and for once, the Court has decided to not make the problem even worse. A majority of justices thankfully realized that ‘history and tradition’ are only analogous and informative when determining how to protect ourselves from modern-day firearms. We can only hope that this corrective measure to Bruen helps other judges uphold common-sense gun regulations that save lives. We have a long way to go in solving gun violence, but by curtailing the out-of-control Fifth Circuit, the Court has at least demonstrated it’s possible. As for Justice Thomas, one shivers to imagine the dystopian violent hellscape he would be comfortable living in.”