Supreme Court gun ban for domestic abusers

Supreme Court gun ban for domestic abusers

WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Monday the United States Supreme Court upheld the federal law that bans people convicted of domestic violence from owning a gun.
Those who brought the case to the high court argued there is a difference between reckless and intentional behavior.

However the justices ruled that "reckless domestic assault qualifies as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence, adding nothing in the phrase "use of physical force" distinguishes between domestic assualts committed knowingly or intentionally and those committed recklessly."
Some say the government is over stepping their boundaries, while others believe this is the right decision.  
     "It's extremely important if someone has been convicted of domestic violence not to have a gun, because in most cases of domestic violence where a woman is murdered a gun is involved more than any other weapon," said Chantel Grant, First Step Education Coordinator.
Grant said an abuser simply having a gun in the home is a form of control.
     "If the abuser has a gun they assume more power, and the victim assumes they have more power. Therefore, more bodily injury is conflicted," said Grant.

Attorney Larry Lewis questions what about those who just made one mistake, now they are unable to have a gun to protect themselves for the rest of their lives?
     "I understand why but sometimes the law goes too far, and when you start saying never, never is a long time," said Lewis.
Lewis said it is different when someone has multiple convictions, and he believes there is a distinction between reckless and intentional behavior.
     "I see the difference between it, but the Supreme Court says it doesn't matter," said Lewis.
Grant said she agrees with the high court.
     "A lot of abusers will use the excuse it was out of control behavior, it was reckless, it wasn't meant to happen, but whenever we talk about domestic violence that is a myth. Any type of abuse used in domestic violence is intentional," said Grant.
Lewis said he disagrees with Grant completely.

"It's a small point, it's just the difference is I didn't intend for you to get hurt but my action actually hurt you," said Lewis.
Above all Grant said this decision is a great message for victims and keeps them safer.
     "By the Supreme Court coming forth in doing this, I think it sends a very good message to a victim, that they're heard, that there are ways they can be protected and there is someone to hear their story," said Lewis.
She believes people do have the right to possess a gun, but those who are dangerous to others or themselves should be carefully looked at.
Lewis said if you do have a domestic violence conviction the only way to get it off your record is to be pardoned by your state's governor, adding this is almost impossible.
He points out the Brady Bill states, if you are put under a restraining order that speaks to violence, stalking or dangerous behavior you cannot possess a firearm either.

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