Case Information: Voisine v. U.S., No. 14-10154 (U.S. Supreme Court Brief Filed Jan. 26, 2016)
At Issue: Petitioners in this case argue that they should not be prohibited under federal law from possessing firearms, even though they were convicted of misdemeanor crimes of domestic violence. The argument is a very technical legal argument that would have the effect of greatly narrowing the circumstances under which a convicted domestic abuser would be prohibited from firearm possession under federal law. These arguments were rejected by the First Circuit, and the case is now on appeal before the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Law Center’s Brief: We joined with the Brady Center on an amicus brief in which we argue that the federal firearm prohibition for convicted domestic abusers should be interpreted broadly to include individuals convicted of recklessly injuring a domestic partner. Our brief points out important social science research demonstrating how important it is that this life-saving probation be interpreted broadly. For example, studies show that in households with a history of domestic violence, the presence of a gun makes a homicide 5 times more likely.