*This article includes information about a news app called Vylo News which is part of a paid collaboration that I am a participating in on TikTok and the Vylo News app.
Last year, the Supreme Court made a landmark decision regarding the 2nd Amendment in the case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen. We are now seeing the effects of Bruen in a decision made February 2, 2023 by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
On Thursday, the 5th Circuit – which is made up of the judicial districts of Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana – vacated the conviction of a man who was found to have possession of firearms in violation of an order of protection brought against him for domestic violence.
The reason that the conviction was vacated is because Bruen changed the standard for evaluating the constitutionality of gun regulations. Prior to Bruen, the standard was “strict scrutiny,” meaning whether there must be a compelling governmental interest for the regulation and the regulation must be narrowly tailored to satisfy that interest. But Bruen tossed aside strict scrutiny in favor of determining if there is a tradition of the regulation in U.S. history.
The problem with this new standard is that we get results like this 5th Circuit case – a lack of protection for domestic violence victims. The 5th circuit reasoned that an order of protection would not have been enough for our founding fathers to take away someone’s access to firearms. Nothing short of a conviction for violent crimes would allow restriction of a person’s 2nd Amendment rights.
What this says to me is that a domestic violence victim must be seriously harmed or killed before their abuser gets their guns taken away. This is not good enough. How can we apply this standard in Bruen when historically, half of the population could not vote at the time this country was founded? And coincidentally, it is the half of the population most at risk for domestic violence, because 85% of domestic violence victims are women.
The 5th Circuit’s decision is likely to be appealed to the Supreme Court. That appeal will be the High Court’s chance to right an egregious wrong and fix the mess that Bruen has made. But based on previous decisions, I am not hopeful that the Court will change the Bruen standard and will likely affirm the 5th Circuit’s decision instead.
I’ve recently joined a new news app called Vylo News. The app shares articles and allows creators to record response videos with their opinions. You can go here to see my video response to this 5th Circuit issue as well as download the app and follow me @devoppcounsel.
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