In a SCOTUS decision made on Monday, advocates for gun control received a small victory. The Supreme Court ruled that people who have been convicted of not only intentional, but also reckless domestic violence assault, will be federally banned from gun ownership. Justice Kagan delivered the 6-2 majority opinion of the Court, and essentially stated that domestic violence is domestic violence, regardless of the mens rea under which it was committed.

The Lautenberg Amendment, passed in 1966, states those convicted of domestic violence cannot own guns. However, in the case SCOTUS just ruled on, Voisine v. United States, lawyers argued that this only applied in cases where the domestic violence occurred in a knowing or intentional state of mind, and that if it occurred recklessly it should not affect gun ownership rights.

By rejecting this argument, SCOTUS has made victims of domestic violence considerably safer than they would be otherwise. Data has proven that domestic abusers with access to guns are far more likely to kill their victims than those without during an attack. The increased safety of these victims can only be affirmed with thorough background checks on all potential gun purchasers, and it is important that sellers begin to implement these more seriously.

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