The United States Supreme Court is dropping the hammer on domestic violence offenders. In a unanimous 9-0 decision, the Court decided that anyone convicted of felony or misdemeanor domestic violence is barred from owning a gun, regardless of whether or not there was proof of injury.
This ruling overturns rulings in several regions, which stated the ban on gun ownership only applied to convictions where violent use of force was proven, typically in the form of cuts, scrapes, bruises, etc .
At issue was a 1996 law in which Congress expanded an existing ban that applied to anyone convicted of a felony in a domestic violence case to include misdemeanor convictions.
“Domestic violence is not merely a type of ‘violence,'” said Justice Sonia Sotomayor. “It is term of art encompassing acts that one might not characterize as ‘violent’ in a non-domestic context.” It includes acts such as “pushing, grabbing, shoving, slapping and hitting,” she said.
Sotomayor said Congress acted in 1996 to “close a loophole” in the law and to try to keep guns out of homes that had experienced domestic violence.
I suspect that the ruling is more of an academic clarification than anything else as the ATF Form 4473 you must fill out to purchase a firearm from a dealer already asks, “Have you ever been convicted in any court of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence?”
It then bars sale to anyone who has been convicted.