NCCADV is disappointed and alarmed by a federal court’s recent decision to strike down federal firearms protections in United States v. Rahimi. While this decision only applies in Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, we are concerned by the court’s reckless reliance on harmful ideas about the acceptability of domestic and community violence.
We are grateful that state and federal law still provide protections for domestic violence survivors in North Carolina despite this ruling. Survivors in North Carolina can still ask a court to order the surrender of firearms as part of a domestic violence protective order, and people in North Carolina subject to a domestic violence protective order are not allowed to possess or purchase a firearm while the order is in place.
The presence of a gun in a domestic violence situation has been shown to increase the risk of homicide by as much as 500%. In the first three weeks of 2023, NCCADV tracked nine domestic violence homicides, and all but one of them involved the use of a firearm. Laws limiting firearm access in domestic violence situations are an essential part of survival and relief for many North Carolinians.
Firearms restrictions save lives. NCCADV continues to train advocates, law enforcement, and other allied professionals on the importance of these laws, and we look to our federal courts to acknowledge and enshrine these protections as they continue to review the Rahimi decision.