Supreme Court Rules Some Felons Can be Denied Guns


In its first gun-related case since last year's landmark DC v. Heller ruling, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the federal government can deny gun ownership to people who have been convicted of domestic violence crimes.

In a 7-2 vote, the court said the danger posed to domestic violence victims was significant enough to ban firearms for those convicted of such crimes.

"Firearms and domestic strife are a potentially deadly combination nationwide," wrote Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in the majority decision.

The ruling examined the case of Randy Edwards Hayes, a West Virginia resident who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for felony gun possession. Hayes had been previously convicted of beating his wife.

The ruling was praised by gun control groups and domestic violence organizations nationwide, who had argued the gun ban was necessary to protect both victims of violent crime and the public at large.

"If the case had gone the other way, there are thousands of people who currently are prohibited from buying guns who would have been allowed to buy guns. Women in abusive situations would have been more at risk. Police officers responding to domestic violence calls would have been more at risk," said Paul Helmke, president of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

(To read the Brady Campaign's full response to the Supreme Court's ruling, click here.)



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